Train conductor sues after collision with log truck

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Apr. 22, 2008, 5:52am

MARSHALL – A collision between a train and a log truck in East Texas resulted in a lawsuit filed by the train conductor against not only the trucking company he believes is at fault, but also against the railroad company he claims failed to provide for his safety.

Charles E. Simmons filed a federal suit against Ferguson Trucking, John Ferguson and BNSF Railway Co. on April 21 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

According to the plaintiff's original complaint, Simmons was employed as a train conductor by BNSF. In February 2007, Simmons was transporting a train near Longview in the town of Tatum when a log truck owned by Ferguson Trucking pulled into the path of the train and the two collided.

Simmons alleges that the log truck failed to yield the right of way to the train and that his employer, BNSF, failed to provide him with "reasonably a safe place to work."

The plaintiff argues that Ferguson Trucking and John Ferguson negligently operated the log truck, negligently hired or entrusted the log truck to the truck's driver and failed to properly screen, train, supervise, and instruct its employees. Further, the suit alleges that Ferguson Trucking and John Ferguson violated industry standards relating to the tractor-trailer's operation.

The suit alleges defendant BNSF Railway Company is negligent under the Federal Employers' Liability Act for not providing Simmons a safe place to work.

The plaintiff believes defendants Ferguson Trucking and John Ferguson were grossly negligent or malicious in their conduct and is therefore seeking punitive damages.

The suit is seeking damages for permanent impairment, physical pain, mental anguish, lost wages and benefits, medical expenses, pre and post judgment interest, and costs of suit.

Friendswood attorney Sara L. Youngdahl of The Youngdahl Law Firm, P.C. is representing the plaintiff.

Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the litigation.

Case No. 2:08cv00166

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