UPRR moves for summary judgment in alcoholic’s suit alleging excessive punishment for sleeping on the job

David Yates May 20, 2015, 2:51pm


Union Pacific Railroad has moved for summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by an employee, who suffers from alcohol dependency and claims he was subjected to extreme punishment after he fell asleep while working.

On July 21 Curtis R. Radick filed suit against Union Pacific Railroad in the U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.

Court records show on Nov. 5 a scheduling order was entered the case, calling the litigation to trial on May 29.

However, on May 11 U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal ordered the pre-trial deadline canceled, pending a UPRR motion for summary judgment.

Radick, a union-represented electrician, claims Union Pacific discriminated against him on the basis of his disability – alcohol dependence, which he claims was in remission.

Radick was working for Union Pacific as an electrician July 7, 2013, when he was observed sleeping during his third shift in La Porte. After Radick passed a breath test and urinalysis the same day, he was placed on 60 days probation.

The director of Houston’s locomotive facility wanted to place Radick on a termination pending investigation, claiming Radick had brought personal items for sleeping, plus had utilized company assets and utilities to facilitate an indifference to duty.

Radick’s union fought for him and was able to negotiate an agreement in which he was placed on 18 months of probation, no road truck position for 18 months and restriction to the Houston Diesel Shop.

Radick claims he was denied his road job position, even after a doctor cleared him to return to work.

However, one of the conditions Radick agreed to in the agreement was that he return to work as a shop electrician, rather than a road electrician, according to UPRR’s motion for summary judgment, filed March 13.

“Despite the fact Plaintiff agreed to that condition, he now claims in this lawsuit that restricting him from a road job was a disability discrimination,” the motion states. “There is no merit to that claim and this lawsuit should be dismissed.”

Radick is seeking a declaration that Union Pacific’s conduct was in violation of his rights. He also seeks back pay, compensatory damages, special and nominal damages, costs, attorneys’ fees and other relief the court deems just.

Attorney Keith Lovelace of the Law Offices of Keith Lovelace in Houston is representing him.

UPR is represented by Linda Schoonmaker, attorney for the Houston law firm Seyfarth Shaw.

Case No. 4:14-cv-02075

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