SE Texas Record

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Railyard worker takes whistleblower role against Union Pacific

By Molly English-Bowers | Dec 16, 2015

HOUSTON--A Kennard man is suing Union Pacific, alleging his first action, brought to the U.S. Department of Labor, was delayed, allowing him to file in federal court.

Ronald Garrido filed a lawsuit Oct. 28 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against Union Pacific Railroad Company.

According to the complaint, Garrido was employed as a car inspector and repairman at the defendant's Englewood train yard in Houston, and  during the course of a normal inspection, on Oct. 21, 2014, he says he discovered two safety defects in two separate cars.

He reported the defects to his foreman and repaired one car, the suit says, but toldthe foreman the second would take a significant amount of time. The suit states the foreman instructed him to fix the defect enough so that the train would depart. The plaintiff refused, and was given a Level 3 discipline charge and 18 months probation, which the plaintiff did not accept, the suit says. 

Union Pacific reduced the punishment and allowed Garrido to return to work.

The plaintiff then filed a Federal Railroad Safety Act complaint with the Department of Labor and, since there has been a delay in the department's decision, he is allowed to bring the original action to federal court.

Garrido seeks a jury trial, past wages and benefits, compensatory damages for medical expenses, mental anguish, emotional distress, economic losses, attorney fees and court costs. He is represented by attorney John Roven of Roven-Kaplan in Houston and the Law Office of H. Chris Christy PA in Little Rock, Ark.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case number 4:15-cv-03165.

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