Worker sues UP for repetitive trauma injury

David Yates Jan. 23, 2008, 7:47am

Michael Richardson is suing Union Pacific Railroad Co., claiming that during his employment the railroad company failed to provide him with a safe place to work – negligently exposing him to repetitive trauma.

Richardson's suit was filed in the Jefferson County District Court on Jan. 22.

According to the plaintiff's petition, Richardson performed a variety of duties for UP in the company's transportation department and "while acting in the course and scope of said employment, suffered a repetitive trauma injury."

"The repetitive trauma injury to Plaintiff was due in whole or in part to the negligence of Defendant...," the suit said. "Specifically, but without limitation, Defendant failed to provide Mr. Richardson with a safe place to work. Due to the repetitive trauma, Mr. Richardson suffered an injury/aggravation to his legs, knees, lower extremity and to other parts of his body."

The suit does not describe the nature of Richardson's injuries, nor does the suit describe what "repetitive trauma" he allegedly endured.

"Defendant KCS [sic] failed to provide Plaintiff with a safe place to work and failed to comply with industry standards," the lawsuit states.

Attorney Bristol Baxley, of the Rome, Arata & Baxley law firm, wrote "defendant KCS," which stands for Kansas City Southern Railway, when he meant to write UP, mixing up the two railways in the suit.

The suit goes on to allege that the area where Richardson suffered his injury was not in compliance with federal track regulations concerning ballast and other track components.

"Moreover, the equipment he was provided violated the Safety Appliance Act, the Boiler/Locomotive Inspection Act and accompanying federal regulations," the suit said. "Defendant KCS' [sic] regulatory violations amount to negligence as a matter of law and caused the injuries and damages."

Richardson is suing for past and future mental anguish, lost earnings, impairment and disfigurement.

On its Web site, New Orleans-based Rome, Arata & Baxley LLC, says the firm "Keeps you on track" with experienced trial attorneys representing injured railroad employees and their families since 1984.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E181-048

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