Engineer with back problems sues railroad for chair choice
Gilbert Adams III
A locomotive engineer for Union Pacific Railroad Co. for most of his career, Michael Dromgoogle says he now suffers from severe back problems. He is suing the railway for "failing to provide ergonomic seats."
He is citing the Boiler Inspection Act and the Federal Employer's Liability Act. FELA is legislation enacted to help injured railroad workers.
Dromgoogle's personal injury lawsuit was filed with the Jefferson County District Court on Sept. 26. Judge Gary Sanderson, 58th Judicial District, will preside over the case.
According to the plaintiff's original petition, Dromgoogle was exposed to unsafe work conditions for most of his career. Although he is a Crosby, Texas resident, Dromgoogle says most of his alleged injuries occurred while passing through Jefferson County.
The suit does not go into detail about the nature of his injuries but does, however, list the following acts of alleged negligence committed by the defendant:
* Defendant failed to provide Plaintiff with a reasonably safe place to work; or
* Defendant failed to provide reasonably safe conditions for work; or
* Defendant failed to provide reasonably safe methods of work; or
* Defendant failed to enact a comprehensive ergonomics program; or
* Defendant failed to provide reasonably safe engines or tools for work; or
* Defendant failed to provide adequate protection from exposure to cumulative trauma; or
* Defendant failed to provide adequate training; or
* Defendant failed to provide adequate safety or personal protective equipment; or
* Defendant failed to warn plaintiff of or protect plaintiff from the danger of exposure to cumulative trauma; or
* Defendant failed to provide adequate help; or
* Defendant failed to provide an air ride seat: or
* Defendant failed to properly inspect, maintain or repair its track; or
* Defendant required plaintiff to work with defective seats; or
* Defendant failed to follow the recommendations of the FRA and AAR related to seats on locomotive engines; or
* Defendant failed to properly inspect, maintain or repair its engines; or
* Defendant failed to follow the recommendations of the AAR ergonomics studies performed in the late 1980's and early 1990's; or
* Defendant knew of the risks of repetitive trauma to its employees and failed to warn plaintiff; or
* Defendant failed to follow the recommendations of its own internal group studying the issue of cumulative trauma; or
* Failed to provide reasonably safe seats or to inspect, repair or maintain its seats in a reasonably safe condition; or
* Failed to protect plaintiff from the risk of injury due to shock and vibration; or
* Failed to provide ergonomic seats.
"Plaintiff has suffered injuries to his body, particularly to plaintiff's spine, discs, vertebrae, low back, and legs. These injuries are permanent in nature. In all reasonable probability he will continue to suffer in this manner for a long time into the future, if not for the balance of his natural life," the suit said. "The injuries have had a serious effect on plaintiff's health and well being."
Dromgoogle is suing for physical pain, lost wages, mental anguish, medical expenses and all court costs.
He is represented by attorney Gilbert T. Adams III of the Law Offices of Gilbert T. Adams, and is demanding a trial by jury.
Case No. B180-395