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Injured railroad worker sues for damages after train hits backhoe

Heavy equipment produces abundant workplace hazards for railroad workers in New York. An accident described by a lawsuit filed by a man who suffered serious injuries while working as a switchman illustrates how a day at work could lead to the hospital. His court filings accuse Toddco Construction LLC and LJA Infrastructure Inc. of negligence after the parties left a backhoe on an active line of track. When his train hit the backhoe, he was crushed between the machines.

The collision inflicted multiple injuries to his neck, head, back, shoulder, arm and leg. His lawsuit tallied his damages at $1 million based on medical bills, lost income and possible future expenses arising from his injuries.

According to his lawsuit, the defendants should have recognized that leaving a backhoe on the tracks presented a dangerous situation. His legal claim asserts that the companies did not notify anyone of the fouled track at a facility operated by First Industrial Realty Trust.

A person employed by a railroad company does not have the typical workers' compensation insurance to rely on when workplace accidents occur. The injured worker instead needs to make a claim under the terms of the Federal Employers Liability Act. Evidence of negligence needs to be presented to justify a claim for damages, and an attorney with knowledge of FELA claims could support this effort. An attorney might have the resources to investigate an accident fully and gather information that could prove another party's liability for the person's medical care and lost pay. Additionally, an attorney could prepare court filings and manage communications with responsible parties.

Source: Southeast Texas Record, "Railroad worker injured when train struck backhoe seeks $1 million from Toddco Construction, LJA Infrastructure", Kristine Gonzales-Abella, Oct. 30, 2018

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