Pennsylvania Record

Friday, September 20, 2019

Trackman says permanent double-knee damage is from Amtrak's unsafe equipment and tools


By Nicholas Malfitano | May 7, 2019


PHILADELPHIA – An Amtrak trackman claims the train transportation company violated the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) by failing to provide safe equipment with which to perform his duties, and he claims he’s suffered permanent knee damage as a result.

Robert Marino of Nottingham filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Jan. 31 versus National Railroad Passenger Corporation (doing business as “Amtrak”), of Philadelphia.

Since 1977, Marino has been employed by Amtrak as a trackman, track equipment operator and track equipment trainer, working out of 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.

His job duties included working on a track gang, installing railroad ties using various hand tools (sledgehammer, spiking maul, claw bar, hammers, wrenches), operating equipment including but not limited to tampers, ballast regulators and stabilizers, climbing ladders, walking on ballast for hours at a time and stepping up three or four feet to get on a ladder.

These were duties which Marino claims “transmitted repetitive forces and vibrations into his lower extremities, specifically his bilateral knees” and forced him to undergo bilateral knee arthroplasty

Marino believes Amtrak violated FELA by negligently failing to provide proper equipment, machinery and tools that wouldn’t injure his knees, failing to provide adequate ergonomic training and testing of that same equipment and failing to promulgate and enforce safe work methods and rules, among other professional failures.

In answer to the complaint filed April 26, Amtrak denied the allegations in their entirety, argued the lawsuit fails to state a claim upon which relief could be granted and was barred by applicable statutes of limitations, federal law, res judicata and collateral estoppel, in addition to other affirmative defenses.

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 Patrick J. Finn of The Myers Firm, in Philadelphia.

The defendant is represented by Barry J. Scatton and Daniel J. Gillin of Landman Corsi Ballaine & Ford, also in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 190103145

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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Amtrak Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas The Myers Firm

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