Railroad worker injured while escaping from underneath moving train

Michelle Massey Jul. 23, 2010, 8:37am

NEW ORLEANS-A railroad employee has filed a lawsuit after he injured his back attempting to escape from underneath a train that started to move.

Alleging violations of the Federal Employer's Liability Act, Joey McLeod filed suit against The New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Commission, doing business as New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Co., on July 6 in federal court in New Orleans.

The alleged incident happened in September 2009 while McLeod, a railroad machinist, was attempting to download engine event recorder data from the defendant's locomotive engine and train that had previously derailed.

McLeod says he had descended underneath the derailed train to gage the train's steel wheels when the locomotive began to move.

According to the complaint, McLeod was fearing for his life as he quickly escaped from underneath the moving train. He claims he injured his lumbar spine in the process.

The defendant is accused of violating FELA by failing to provide McLeod with a safe place to work, failing to provide safe working conditions and proper equipment, failing to warn of the unsafe workplace conditions, failing to provide sufficient and proper assistance, failing to comply with mandated federal regulations, and failing to exercise due care and caution.

The former employee is seeking damages for physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering, permanent disability, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages, medical expenses, interest and court costs.

McLeod is represented by Joseph M. Miller, Benjamin Saunders and Carisa German-Oden of Davis Saunders in Mandeville.

A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv01907

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