Former machine operator and trackman says CSX Transportation's unsafe work environment led to his spinal injuries

By Nicholas Malfitano | Oct 4, 2018

PHILADELPHIA – A former machine operator and trackman for CSX Transportation has initiated legal action against his ex-employer, claiming it violated the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) by not providing him with a safe work environment.

Winfred L. Hoover of Irvine, Ky. filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Sept. 20, against CSX Transportation, Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla.

“Plaintiff was employed by defendant railroad and was acting in the scope of his employment by defendant and was engaged in the furtherance of interstate commerce within the meaning of [FELA]. He worked for defendant in the following states: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, New York, Louisiana, Mississippi and Michigan,” the suit states.

Hoover says in the course of his employment duties, the defendant exposed the plaintiff to unsafe working conditions, leading him to perform repetitive motions resulting in episodes of moderate and sharp lower-back pain, numbness and weakness in his legs.

The episodes would become constant in early 2017, per the litigation, and culminated in a surgery on Dec. 21, 2017, with a laminotomy on Hoover's right L4-L5 vertebrae and with a laminectomy with discectomy on his L5-S1 vertebral junction.

The plaintiff adds the defendants failed to provide him with a safe work environment, failed to comply with operating rules and regulations, failed to comply with applicable government regulations and failing to take any action to eliminate the cumulative and repetitive trauma and vibration to which he would be exposed, among other charges.

The plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000.

The plaintiff is represented by Luke T. Pepper of Levin Sedran & Berman, plus David Lockard of David L. Lockard & Associates, in Philadelphia

The defendant is represented by Matthew Decker, Jeffrey S. Pollack and Sharon L. Caffrey of Duane Morris, also in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180702294

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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Duane Morris Levin Sedran & Berman LLP Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas

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