The evidence that repetitive railroad work tasks lead to disabling orthopedic injuries over time has been growing recently and a ruling in the First District Appellate Court in Illinois supports this notion.
The case involved a 31-year-old engine mechanic who worked for Union Pacific railroad. He sustained two herniated discs and had three back surgeries after performing the same task every day at work. The damage done to his back left him unable to continue working at Union Pacific.
The plaintiff's attorney called three medical doctors, a safety expert, a biomechanical engineer and a vocational expert. Given the evidence, a jury agreed that the ergonomically unsafe task assigned to the mechanic played a role in his injury.
Our firm has written about the risks associated with certain work-related tasks and we believe railroad workers are at a heightened risk. The case above substantiates this belief. We know how repetitive and physically strenuous work on a railroad can be. We've represented hundreds of railroad workers in FELA cases and they've told us about the excessively forceful jobs they do often in awkward postures and positions.
If you're currently working for a railroad and injured yourself after performing what seemed to be a mundane, everyday task, contact us immediately.