A BNSF Railway Company employee says his work for the company has caused him to develop spinal problems.

Bobby Dale Goates filed a lawsuit Sept. 28 in Madison County Circuit Court against the railroad.

In his complaint, Goates claims he has worked since 1969 as a brakeman, conductor, switchman and engineer for the company. Such work requires Goates to ride on and to operate locomotives, causing him spinal problems, according to the complaint.

Because of his back injuries, Goates suffered pain and mental anguish, was forced to undergo medical treatment and lost wages and fringe benefits, the suit states. In addition, he incurred medical costs, experienced pain and suffering and has incurred an impaired ability to enjoy life and to work, the complaint says.

Goates blames BNSF for a number of negligent acts, including its failure to provide him with a safe place to work, its failure to provide him safe work conditions, its failure to provide safe methods of work, its failure to enact a comprehensive ergonomics program, its failure to provide reasonably safe tools for work and its failure to provide adequate protection from exposure to cumulative trauma.

Goates is seeking a judgment of more than $15,000, plus costs.

Steven L. Groves of Holland, Groves, Schneller and Stolze in St. Louis will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-1027.

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