A former employee of Norfolk Southern Railway Company has filed a personal injury suit against the railroad, claiming that the work he was forced to perform caused him to become injured.

According to the suit he filed on February 17 in Illinois’ Madison County Circuit Court, Russell R. O’Dell was employed as a trackman and machine operator on April 5, 2006 when the backhoe he was operating in a confined space rolled off an embankment and flipped over, causing him to suffer neck and back injuries.

O’Dell alleges that the incident caused him to experience disability, disfigurement, great pain, mental anguish, medical expenses, a loss of wages, and diminished future earning capacity.

O’Dell claims that throughout his 34 years of employment with Norfolk Southern, the work he was required to perform caused him to suffer repetitive and cumulative trauma to his body.

The suit alleges negligence on the part of Norfolk Southern for the April 5 incident for failure to provide a safe work place, failure to provide sufficient manpower, failure to provide safe and suitable tools and equipment, and failure to provide safe work methods.

The suit alleges negligence on the part of Norfolk Southern throughout O’Dell’s tenure for consistently exposing him to an unreasonably unsafe workplace, walking on bad ballast, awkward body posture, and excessive vibrations, consistently working him without sufficient manpower, consistently requiring him to work excessive hours, and repeated failure to provide him with proper tools.

O’Dell seeks damages in excess of $100,000, plus costs, from the two-count suit.

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