A jerky train ride and lack of protective gear were reasons cited by a Union Pacific Railroad Company employee who sued his employer under the Federal Employers Liability Act.

Donald Ray Thompson Jr. claims UPR negligently caused his leg injury and filed suit against the railroad company in the Jefferson County District Court on March 10. Thompson is seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

According to Thompson's petition, on Jan. 30 he was working for UPR when "he suffered a severe and debilitating injury." The suit stated that the train began "to jerk and jar … causing Thompson to be thrown from the railcar, injuring his leg."

"The injury to Plaintiff was due in whole or in part to the negligence of Defendant … and its employees," the suit said.

"Specifically, Defendant UPR failed to provide Mr. Thompson with a safe place to work, failed to warn Mr. Thompson, failed to properly instruct, train and supervise its employees, failed to comply with industry standards, failed to provide safe tools, equipment, and personal protective gear and failed to establish, follow and enforce proper safety procedures and rules, failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to properly inspect, maintain and repair and failed to operate the train in a safe and prudent manner."

Thompson is citing the Federal Employers Liability Act and is suing for past and future mental anguish, lost earnings, impairment and medical expenses.

"Plaintiff suffered injuries to his leg…," the suit said. "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 injuries have had a serious effect on Plaintiffs health and well being."

Thompson is demanding a trial by jury and is represented by attorney Bristol Baxley of the Rome, Arata & Baxley law firm.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. D181-407

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