Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)

PHILADELPHIA – An engineer for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has alleged the entity of violating federal laws by negligently failing to maintain and repair a train’s coupler head, which he says led to him suffering severe lower back and leg injuries.

Michael Deacereto of Wyncote filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Oct. 30 versus SEPTA, of Philadelphia.

“On June 7, 2017, Deacereto was performing a deadhead move to Glenside when the train died. Deacereto attempted to troubleshoot the problem by going under [train] MU290 to ‘dog the head’ to isolate the electrical current between the two units of the married pair. However, the lever jammed, causing Deacereto to sustain injuries to his lower back. When the train returned to Roberts Yard, Deacereto was advised by the dispatcher and the yard master that the coupler heads on MU290 had been worked on the previous night,” the suit says.

Deacereto believes SEPTA violated both the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) and Locomotive Inspection Act (LIA) by exposing him to a defective coupler head; failing to adequately/properly install and maintain the coupler head; failing to repair the previously defective coupler head; failing to inspect the rail car to discover the defective condition of the coupler head; failing to remedy the dangerous condition; failing to warn Deacereto of the dangerous and defective condition; and by using train MU290 on its lines with a defective coupler head.

The suit explains Deacereto consulted a number of medical professionals from June to September of this year for treatment of his lower back and leg pain, which included both osteopathic manipulation and physical therapy.

For counts of FELA and LIA 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.

Due to SEPTA’s alleged negligence, Deacereto asserts he was out of work from June 8 to Sept. 17, 2017, during which he suffered lost wages and benefits, incurred substantial medical expenses and endured serious physical and emotional pain.

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

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 171003705

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas

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