A BNSF Railway Company employee has filed suit against his employer, alleging he sustained serious injuries because of work-related tasks.

Kenneth D. Johnson filed a lawsuit Jan. 15 in Madison County Circuit Court against BNSF Railway Company.

Johnson claims he began working as a machinist for the railroad on Aug. 9, 1968, at its facilities in West Burlington and Galesburg.

His work required Johnson to remove and install turbo screens on locomotives, to pipe engines, to install inertial filters, to change oil coolers, to set hatches, to climb up and down and on and off the engines and to work on engines that required him to overextend and be in a position that rendered him susceptible to injury, according to the complaint.

Because of the repetitive stress and strain of the work and because of the nature of his work, Johnson sustained severe and permanent injuries and had to undergo surgery to his left and right shoulders, the suit states. In addition, he sustained a development of shoulder pain and injury and deterioration of his left and right shoulders, experienced pain and suffering, incurred permanent disability and disfigurement and lost wages, the complaint says. Johnson also claims he incurred medical costs and sustained the loss of a normal life.

According to the complaint, Johnson first discovered the true nature of his deteriorating condition in 2008.

In his two-count complaint, Johnson blames BNSF for a number of negligent acts, including its failure to provide him with proper equipment, its providing of improper equipment, its requirement that he maneuver into a position that rendered him susceptible to injury, its failure to provide him with sufficient space to perform his task, its failure to furnish him with a safe place in which to work, its failure to exercise adequate care for its employees' safety and its assigning Johnson to duties that it knew were beyond his physical capacity.

Johnson seeks a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs.

Fritz G. Faerber and Christine E. Anderson of Faerber and Anderson in St. Louis and John D. Roven of Roven-Kaplan in Houston will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-40.

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