Testimony: BNSF Railroad did not train man to open railcar door

By David Yates | Oct 23, 2013

On Wednesday jurors heard eyewitness testimony in a personal injury trial against Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.

Joseph Egland filed suit against the company on Feb. 7, 2007, in Jefferson County District Court.

The trial began Oct. 21 in Judge Gary Sanderson’s 60th District Court.

On Oct. 23 jurors heard testimony via video deposition from one of Egland’s coworkers, who was on site when the alleged injury occurred.

According to the plaintiff’s third amended petition, on June 20, 2005, Egland claims he was working as a longshoreman on a railcar supplied by BNSF when the defective condition of the railcar caused him to injure his shoulder and body in general.

According to testimony, Egland and another man were struggling to open the railcar door. Egland told the witness that he injured his shoulder when the handle of the door sprung back.

The witness further testified that they receive no official training on how to open railcar doors and learn while on the job.

The suit accuses BNSF of negligently supplying a railcar with an unsafe condition and negligently failing to inspect, maintain and repair the railcar.

Egland is asking jurors to award him damages for his alleged past and future lost wages, medical expenses, pain and impairment.

He is represented by John Werner, attorney for the Beaumont law firm Reaud, Morgan & Quinn.

Attorney Douglas W. Poole of McLeod, Alexander, Powel & Apffel in Galveston is representing the defendant.

Case No. B178-607

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