Posted On: September 25, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

FELA Lawsuit Says Railroad Job Resulted in Hernia and Herniated Disc

In Illinois, a railroad worker who used to work as a trackman and machine operator has filed a FELA lawsuit against Union Pacific Railroad Company. John A. Neal says he sustained bilateral inguinal hernias in November 2007. In January 2008, he suffered a herniated disc.

In his FELA lawsuit, Neal says he had to undergo treatment for his hernias and spinal surgery for his back injury. He also says that his job resulted in physical injuries, including loss of agility and muscle strength, excess wear on his lower and upper extremities, permanent loss of physical function in his low back and spine, aggravation to his hypertension, and permanent impairment to his neck, back, arms, shoulders, hands, and groin areas.

Because of his work injuries, Neal claims he suffered mental trauma, physical pain, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life. He says that his injuries have resulted in medical bills.

Neal’s FELA complaint accuses Union Pacific of negligence, including failure to provide him with a safe working environment, failure to warn him about job risks, having him perform tasks that required excessive use of his body parts (for example, using his hands repeatedly without giving him the proper equipment), and giving him unsafe equipment and tools to do his job.

Herniated Disc
A spinal injury or wear and tear can cause a herniated disc. Symptoms include weakness, pain, and numbness. Depending on the severity of the herniated disc, recovery can take a few weeks or several few months. In some cases, surgery may be required.

Fatty tissue or an organ coming out through weak spot or a hole in the fascia or muscle might be a hernia. This can be painful and decrease a person’s mobility. A hernia can prove dangerous if medical complications result.

Some railroad injuries occur during work accidents while some may gradually develop over time because of the repetitive and/or strenuous tasks a railroad worker may be expected to perform. Work injuries may prevent the railroad worker from being able to do his or her job.

The Federal Employee Liability Act offers compensation to railroad workers who got sick or were injured while performing their duties. Unlike Illinois workers’ compensation, which most other workers can avail of, an injured railroad worker has to prove that his or her employer’s negligence contributed to the injury, illness, or death.

Railroad worker claims hernia problems in FELA suit, The Record, September 23, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Injured Railway Workers: Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA), Justia

Understanding Hernia - the Basics, Web MD

Herniated Disc - Topic Overview, Web MD

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