KCS suit blames faulty switch for injury

David Yates Sep. 25, 2007, 10:57am

Bristol Baxley

Railroad worker James Walter Murray says he suffered a debilitating shoulder injury when he attempted to throw a switch he claims was defective.

U nder the Federal Employers' Liability Act, legislation enacted to help railroad workers, Murray has filed suit against The Kansas City Southern Railway Co. and the Port of Port Arthur.

He filed his $50,000-plus personal injury lawsuit Sept. 24 in the Jefferson County District Court. Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th Judicial District, will preside over the case.

According to the plaintiff's original petition, on Jan. 18 Murray was working for KCS when he injured his shoulder when throwing a switch. The injury occurred on property owned by the Port.

"The injury to plaintiff was due in whole or in part to the negligence of defendant..," the suit said. "Specifically, KCS failed to provide plaintiff with a safe place to work, failed to comply with industry standards, failed to properly train, instruct and supervise, failed to provide adequate manpower, failed to provide safe footing, failed to inspect, maintain and repair and failed to warn."

The Port of Port Arthur was negligent and caused personal injury "by a condition or use of tangible personal or real property, so that defendant may not claim sovereign immunity," the suit said. "In addition, (the Port) was negligent in performing a proprietary function."

The plaintiff is suing for past and future physical pain, mental anguish, loss of earnings, impairment, disfigurement and medical expenses.

He is demanding a trial by jury and is represented by Bristol Baxley, attorney for the Rome, Arata & Baxley law firm.

According to the firm's Web site, since beginning his legal career in 1993, Bristol has exclusively handled the claims of injured railroad employees throughout Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Mississippi. He has successfully handled FELA cases in numerous federal and state district courts.

Case No. D180-030

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