Engineer sues Union Pacific over injury-causing potholes

By Kelly Holleran | Sep 13, 2010

A man has filed suit against a railroad, claiming he sustained injuries while being transported on a gravel road full of numerous potholes.

Gary Finley claims he was working as a locomotive engineer for defendant Union Pacific Railroad Company when he sustained his injuries on Feb. 7.

"Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle owned by Defendant, PTI, and that was being driven by one of its agents or employees along and upon a private gravel road which was owned and controlled by Union Pacific Railroad Company," the suit states. "That at said time and place, Defendant, Union Pacific Railroad Company, a corporation, by and through its agent, so negligently and carelessly operated said vehicle so as to cause the same to drive through a series of potholes injuring Plaintiff in whole or in part as hereinafter more fully alleged."

Because of the incident, Finley sustained severe and permanent injuries to his back and neck and suffered great bodily pain and mental anguish, according to the complaint filed Sept. 1 in St. Clair County Circuit Court. In addition, he suffered disability, lost his normal life and experienced an impaired earning capacity, the complaint says.

Finley blames Union Pacific and Professional Transportation Inc. for causing his injuries, saying they failed to keep a vehicle under control, failed to reduce the speed of the vehicle, failed to provide a safe place to work, drove too fast. In addition, Union Pacific failed to exercise due care and caution, failed to inspect and repair the roadway, allowed Finley to be transported on a dangerous road and failed to warn of the dangers of the road, according to the complaint.

In his two-count complaint, Finley is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs.

Todd Neilson and Kenneth P. Danzinger of Callis, Papa, Hale, Szewczyk and Danzinger in Granite City will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-450.

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