St. Clair Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot has scheduled a mandatory status conference in a case filed by a train engineer who claims he suffered permanent hand injuries due to a faulty hand brake.

The status conference is scheduled for Sept. 16 at 9 a.m. before Lopinot.

Plaintiff Phillip Michael Boaz filed the lawsuit May 30 against Norfolk Southern Railway Company.

According to the complaint, Boaz claims he was working as a locomotive engineer when he attempted to release a hand brake in Norfolk Southern’s Madison yard on March 9. When he went to pull the brake, he alleges the brake was not in working order, causing him the injury.

In his suit, Boaz blames Norfolk Southern for causing his injuries, saying it violated the Locomotive Inspection Act by allowing a malfunctioning train hand brake to be used on its train and by failing to provide components on its locomotive that endangered the safety of the crew.

He also accuses the railroad company of negligence saying it failed to provide him with a safe place to work, allowed a defective hand brake to be used on its vehicle, failed to provide an efficient hand brake, failed to maintain and repair its hand brake and allowed an unsafe practice to become common.

John P. Kujawski of Kujawski Marcus in O’Fallon is representing Boaz.

Kurt Reitz of Thompson Coburn LLP in Belleville is representing Norfolk Southern.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 13-L-271

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