A railroad conductor is suing Kansas City Southern Railway after an alleged fall from a train car that caused him several injuries. George Steven Wallace of Bonham, Texas, filed a liability suit against The Kansas City Southern Railway in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas. Wallace was employed by the Railway company as a coal train conductor. According to the lawsuit, on May 11, 2014, Wallace was performing his work duties as coal train conductor, when a dispatcher informed Wallace, and his engineer, that a car on their train was on fire. Wallace was instructed to stop the train and inspect the fire.
Failure to Provide a Safe Workplace
According to the lawsuit, when Wallace went to inspect the fire, he used a side ladder to exit the car. As he was climbing down, a grab iron broke free from the ladder, and sent Wallace falling several feet, into loose ballast, on a steep incline. Allegedly, Wallace slid down the hill, sustaining injuries to his back, neck, shoulders, and several other places. The complaint cites the Railway Company with negligence and failure to provide a safe workplace. Wallace claims that Kansas City Southern failed to inspect, maintain and repair the train car. He claims that Kansas City Southern also failed to provide adequate manpower, safe equipment, procedures and instruction, and to warn the plaintiff of hazards. As a result of his injuries, Wallace cites pain, suffering, and mental anguish; impairment and discomfort; disfigurement; lost wages and earning capacity, and medical expenses. Wallace and his legal counsel are seeking over $75,000 in compensation for punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest; attorney’s fees; expenses, and costs.
Railroad workers are fatally injured at almost twice the rate of the average American worker. Luckily, when railroads fail to provide safe workplaces to their employees, injured employees are protected under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). In 1908, Congress passed the Federal Employers Liability Act, it is designed to protect railroad workers and their rights in the face of injury. According to this act, if a railroad worker is injured or killed, then they or the family will have a path to compensation for the accident. FELA is designed to protect almost every single person who works with the railroad, including those who don’t even work around trains.
Contact Our Railroad Injury Lawyers
If you have a claim against FELA, then you can go directly to the employer or the railroad company. However, to ensure your rights are protected, it still makes sense to work with an experienced attorney. Unlike workers’ compensation statutes, FELA places almost no monetary limits on recoveries and does not significantly limit these awards. Therefore, in appropriate cases, millions of dollars may be awarded in cases where a railroad employee suffers serious and permanent injuries on the job.
FELA does not hold railroads liable for all injuries to employees. An employee must prove that the railroad’s negligence caused the employee’s injuries. Victims and their families should retain legal counsel after such an event, so that all evidence can be preserved and analyzed to determine if the employer will be liable and if employer negligence played any part, even the slightest, in producing the injury or death for which damages are sought.