Amtrak trackman alleges company's unsafe environment and tools led to his serious injuries

By Nicholas Malfitano | Jun 20, 2017

PHILADELPHIA – A trackman who worked for Amtrak for 40 years claims the company violated the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) by forcing him to use tools which he says later led him to develop a series of bodily injuries.

Russell Johnstone of Clayton, Del. filed suit on June 14 in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, versus National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), also of Philadelphia.

“As a trackman, Mr. Johnstone was required to swing sledgehammers and spiking mauls, pull spikes using a claw bar, set anchors with hammers and wrenches, and lift rail, spike kegs and anchor bags. He was also using air guns, hydraulic tampers, spiking guns and welding kits containing grinders of all types,” the lawsuit says.

As a result of the repetitive stress to parts of his body that he says he sustained, Johnstone alleged his injuries included the following: “Right shoulder osteoarthritis which ultimately required right humeral hemiarthroplasty with glenoid reaming arthroplasty, causing severe shock to his nervous system and nerves, aggravation, acceleration and activation of any and all pre-existing ailments and/or conditions and more particularly, but not in limitation of any other personal injuries he may have sustained.”

The plaintiff adds the defendants violated FELA through not providing him with a proper work environment and instead put him in an environment which forced him to use unsafe tools, which led to the serious injuries he described.

The plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus interest, costs, fees and such and other further relief the Court and jury shall deem appropriate in this matter.

The plaintiff is represented by Patrick Finn of Myers Lafferty Law Offices, in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170601521

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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