Union Pacific files motion to compel in employee’s lawsuit over fall from rail car

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Sep 12, 2013



A motion hearing is scheduled in Madison County Chief Judge David Hylla's court involving a lawsuit against Union Pacific filed by an employee who claims he fell from a rail car into a pile of debris.

The status conference is set for Sept. 27 at 9:30 a.m.

Union Pacific will argue its motion to compel filed July 31, asking for a response to its interrogatories and request for production.

William Melican filed the lawsuit on March 1 claiming he suffered neck, right shoulder and right arm injuries when he fell from a Union Pacific Railroad Company locomotive car.

Melican cays he was climbing off a railroad car while wearing a remote control operator’s device when he slipped and fell from the car and landed on a pile of debris beside the car, the complaint states.

Melican accuses Union Pacific of violating the Safety Appliance Act and the Federal Employers’ Liability Act. He also blames them for causing his injuries, saying the company negligently failed to provide him with a safe place to work, required him to disembark from a railcar while wearing a remote control operator’s device and required him to work in an area littered with debris, among other negligent acts.

He seeks a judgment of more than $100,000.

William P. Gavin of Gavin Law Firm in Belleville is representing Melican.

Thomas E. Jones, Harlan A. Harla and Thompson Coburn of Belleville are representing Union Pacific.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 13-L-465

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