Train conductor loses footing, sues railroad

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Oct. 21, 2009, 3:39pm

A Union Pacific Railroad conductor claims the footing in his work area was unsafe causing him to fall and injure his back and leg.

Alleging the railroad failed to maintain its cabs, passageways and compartments, Rodney Smiley filed a lawsuit against Union Pacific Railroad Co. on Oct. 19 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Smiley claims that Union Pacific violated the Federal Employer's Liability Act by failing to provide him with a reasonably safe place to work.

The Tyler man states that Union Pacific knew or reasonably should have known that the footing in his area was unsafe. He claims the defendant failed to correct that condition and failed to provide him with a safe place to work or with adequate assistance to perform his work-related duties.

Further, Smiley argues the defendant failed to provide him with reasonably safe appliances and with properly maintained equipment.

The lawsuit also asserts that the defendant violated the Locomotive Inspection Act and the Safety Appliance Act.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for physical and mental pain, suffering and anguish, medical expenses, economic losses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pre and post-judgment interest and attorneys' fees.

Beaumont attorneys David P. Wilson and Matthew C. Matheny of the Provost Umphrey Law Firm LLP are representing the plaintiff.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward will preside over the litigation.

Case No 2:09cv00325

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