A CSX Transportation worker has filed suit against the company after he says he was injured when a train derailed.

Kenneth G. Showalter claims he was working as a locomotive engineer for CSX on Feb. 5 and was operating one of CSX's locomotive engines on Feb. 5, 2009, when it struck a dislodged hopper car door lying on the track.

"When the locomotive engine which Plaintiff was operating struck the hopper car door, the locomotive engine and the remaining cars of the train were caused to derail," the suit filed Feb. 26 in St. Clair County Circuit Court states. "As a result of the derailment, Kenneth G. Showalter was violently thrown about the locomotive engine, suffering injury to his spine and adjacent structures thereof."

Because of the incident, Showalter suffered injuries to his spine and had to endure fusion surgery; sustained pain and suffering; incurred permanent disability and disfigurement; lost money because of his inability to work; and sustained an impaired earning capacity, according to the complaint. In addition, he incurred medical costs and lost his normal life, the suit states.

In addition to the injuries he incurred during the derailment, Showalter blames CSX for his degenerating physical condition.

He says the railroad failed to provide him with a safe place to work, failed to provide him with safe work conditions, failed to provide him with safe work methods, failed to provide him with safe equipment for work, failed to provide him with safe equipment to protect him from cumulative trauma to his back, failed to adequately maintain its tracks, failed to equip its locomotives with ergonomically safe seats, failed to determine the ergonomic hazards of Showalter's job, failed to warn Showalter of the ergonomic hazards of his job, failed to train Showalter on how to avoid the ergonomic hazards of his job, failed to alter the work environment and failed to test Showalter to see if he was subject to any damaging effects.

In his three-count suit, Showalter is seeking a judgment of more than $150,000, plus costs.

Ryan Brennan of The Brennan Law Firm in Belleville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-92.

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