Railroad employee sues employer over injury claims on the job

A railway worker has accused his employer, Alton and Southern Railroad, of negligence following an accident at a rail yard.

Dwayne Buchannon, who was employed by the Alton and Southern Railroad, a subsidiary of Union Pacific, filed suit Jan. 7 under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) in St. Clair County Circuit Court, claiming he suffered serious injuries when struck by a locomotive.

According to the lawsuit, Buchannon was working for the company on Jan. 13, 2017. He was driving eastbound, inspecting and making repairs as he went along when he was struck by the locomotive, the complaint states.

The suit claims the defendant negligently and carelessly failed and omitted to keep a careful and diligent lookout, drove too fast for the conditions and failed to keep the locomotive under control so that it could be stopped at the first sign of danger.

Buchannon claims to have suffered severe, painful, permanent and progressive bodily injuries and damages, including injuries to his back, neck, and left upper extremity.

“We received the lawsuit and are reviewing it,” said Kristin South, Union Pacific’s senior director of corporate communications and media relations. “As you are aware, Alton & Southern Railroad is a wholly owned subsidiary of Union Pacific. Safety is our top priority, and we provide ongoing training to all employees. We plan to vigorously defend ourselves against this lawsuit.”

The plaintiff has needed medical, hospital, surgical, and therapeutic care and treatment, according to the complaint, which adds that he has lost wages and his earning capacity.

The railway worker is asking the court for damages within the jurisdictional limits, the value of his medical and hospital care already spent and costs in the future, for loss of earning, and the for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

This article was first published by Madison Record.

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