Union Pacific switchman sues over back injuries

Michelle Massey Sep. 15, 2010, 1:59am


A Union Pacific switchman has filed suit against his employer after allegedly injuring his back attempting to align a switch.

Bringing his claims under the Federal Employers Liability Act, Edward L. Vinnett Jr. filed suit against Union Pacific Railroad on Sept. 1 in federal court in New Orleans.

Vinnett states the accident occurred on Nov. 11, 2007 at the defendant's rail yard in Avondale. It was Vinnett's responsibility to align a railroad switch, referred to as the #3 switch. He claims that the switch was defective and difficult to operate.

As a result, Vinnett states he is suffering from severe and permanent injury to his back and lumbar spine.

Union Pacific is accused of failing to provide a reasonably safe place for Vinnett to work.

Vinnett is seeking damages for past and future lost wages and benefits, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of usual and normal activities of life, medical expenses, physical disability and impairment.

Vinnett is represented by Mat M. Gray III of Fowler Rodriquez, Valdes-Fauli, in New Orleans, and James H. Wettermark, of Wettermark Holland & Keith in Birmingham, Ala.

A jury trial is requested.

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

Case No. 2:10cv02871

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