Train conductor slips on ladder, sues railroad

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Nov. 5, 2009, 7:21am

MARSHALL – While climbing down a tank car, a conductor slipped and fell from a ladder, hurting his right knee. The conductor believes that a slippery substance on the ladder presented an unsafe condition.

Jose Natal filed a personal injury lawsuit against the Kansas City Southern Railway Co. on Nov. 2 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

The incident occurred on July 8, shortly after Natal, the train's conductor, released a hand brake and attempted to climb down a ladder from a tank car.

"The ladder in question was in such a condition that it was not safe to use without creating unnecessary danger of personal injury and the ladder failed to comply with applicable statutes and regulations," court documents state.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendant was negligent by:

  • Failing to provide proper supervision;
  • Failing to properly train its employees;
  • Requiring that the plaintiff perform unsafe acts;
  • Failing to warn of the dangers associated with working in or around tank cars;
  • Operating its tank cars in an unsafe condition;
  • Failing to take reasonable steps to prevent slippery substances from remaining on ladders;
  • Failing to inspect the ladders on its tank cars: and
  • Failing to remove slippery substances from the ladders.

    The Louisiana resident is seeking damages for physical pain, mental anguish, physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of wages, loss of earning capacity and medical expenses.

    Houston attorneys Sara Youndahl, Ross Citti and Joshua Davis of the law firm Youngdahl and Citti PC are representing the plaintiff.

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

    Case No 2:09cv00341

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