PHILADELPHIA – An Amtrak trackman and truck driver has accused the train transportation company of violating the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) by not making for a safe workplace, which he says led to his serious shoulder injuries.

Adam R. Engle of Phoenixville filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Sept. 11 versus National Railroad Passenger Corporation (doing business as “Amtrak”), of Philadelphia.

On July 20, 2016, Engle was working at the Sunnyside Yard in New York City, in furtherance of interstate commerce. During the course of his work, Engle attempted to retrieve a bag of anchors from a welding truck in order to complete his assignment. 

This particular bag was partially obscured by tools which were haphazardly thrown into the truck by the crew that had used it the previous night, he says. While attempting to retrieve the bag, Engle says he experienced a sharp and disabling pain in his shoulder, requiring him to seek immediate medical attention.

The lawsuit says Engle was taken to the emergency room of NYU Langone Health System and was diagnosed with left shoulder strain and advised to follow up with an orthopedic doctor.

Continued medical treatment in both New York City and Philadelphia, along with physical therapy sessions, ultimately led Engle to be diagnosed with a tear of the glenoid labrum, a Bankart lesion of the right shoulder, a superior glenoid labrum lesion of the left shoulder, a work-related left shoulder sprain/strain with resultant Type II SLAP lesion and distal clavicle osteolysis, and corrective surgery was scheduled, the suit says.

That surgery took place on Sept. 29, 2016 at Physicians Care Surgical Hospital in Royersford and was performed by Dr. Robert W. Frederick. Engle says he saw Frederick for follow-up visits after the surgery, continues to consult with him on an as-needed basis and completed another round of physical therapy. On March 1, he was released to return to full-duty work without restrictions, the suit says.

Engle claimed he was not able to work for Amtrak between July 20, 2016 and March 12, 2017, and believes Amtrak violated FELA by negligently failing to provide a safe work environment, failing to properly maintain such areas that the plaintiff was required to work to ensure they were safe and failed to provide adequate manpower, among other professional charges.

For one count of FELA violation, the plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus interest, costs, fees and such other and further relief the Court and jury shall deem appropriate.

The plaintiff is represented by William L. Myers Jr. of The Myers Firm, in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170900806

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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