Madison - St. Clair Record

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Union Pacific seeks summary judgment in FELA suit

By Christina Stueve Hodges | Feb 28, 2013


Union Pacific Railroad is seeking summary judgment in a former worker's 2011 Federal Employee Liability Act (FELA) suit filed in St. Clair County.

The company filed an amended notice of hearing Feb. 25, on a motion for summary judgment in a knee injury case.

Plaintiff Gary R. Moore claims he started working for Union Pacific in 1970 and performed various duties, which included work as a brakeman, conductor and engineer. He says that up to November 2008, he was exposed to multiple repetitive injuries to his knees.

Moore claims those injuries were caused by working conditions at the railroad. He says he was often required to lift heavy objects, set and release handbrakes and jump off locomotives from heights he considered unsafe.

Along with unsafe working conditions, Moore contends Union Pacific had unsafe tracks and suspension systems, where the trains operated. He claims the continued stress to his knees eventually led to the need for knee replacement.

The railroad claimed in its Sept. 21 motion for summary judgment that Moore’s alleged injuries were caused by preexisting conditions.

Union Pacific states that Moore testified that he was aware of his knee injuries, and that they were caused by his activities at work more than three years prior to filing the suit.

The railroad argues that summary judgment is proper because Moore's alleged injuries are barred by the three-year statute of limitations provided by the FELA.

Union Pacific also claims summary judgment is proper because Moore testified that Union Pacific and its predecessors provided a reasonably safe place to work. It is also proper because the plaintiff previously released these claims, Union Pacific contends.

Thomas Jones and Harlan Harla of Thompson Coburn represent Union Pacific.

Attorney William P. Gavin of Belleville is representing Moore.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 11-L-479.

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