Maintenance worker sues Norfolk Southern claiming carpal tunnel syndrome

By Kelly Holleran | Mar 7, 2012

A man claims he developed carpal tunnel syndrome after he was required to work with various equipment throughout his career as a railroad worker.

Jeffrey R. Shonkwiler filed a lawsuit Feb. 29 in Madison County Circuit Court against Norfolk Southern Railway.

In his complaint, Shonkwiler alleges he was working as a maintenance-of-way laborer, a track supervisor, a section foreman and a track inspector in Decatur when he was exposed to various tools that required him to work with force, to experience vibration and to work in unsafe positions.

Because of his work, Shonkwiler developed bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome; sustained injuries to his right and left arms, hands and wrists; and suffered pain and anguish, according to the complaint. He also incurred medical costs, experienced a diminished ability to work, lost earnings, sustained a disability and lost his enjoyment of life, the suit states.

Shonkwiler alleges Norfolk Southern failed to provide him with a safe place to work, failed to provide him with safe work conditions and failed to provide him with safe equipment for work, among other negligent acts, the suit states.

In his complaint, Shonkwiler is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

He will be represented by Turner A. Rouse of The Rouse Law Firm in Belleville.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-261.

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