Illinois man wins $1M verdict against Union Pacific for injuries suffered as a welder

2013-02-08T10:46:00Z 2014-01-29T11:32:06Z Illinois man wins $1M verdict against Union Pacific for injuries suffered as a welderBy Marlon A. Walker mwalker@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8104 stltoday.com

BELLEVILLE • Union Pacific Railroad has been ordered by a St. Clair County jury to pay a former track welder $1 million for injuries he suffered during his 20-year career there.

Don Currie, 48, of Villa Grove, Ill., said he often stood in awkward positions for long periods of time to work on the railroad tracks, causing his spinal discs to wear out. He was diagnosed with herniated lumbar discs and nerve-root impingement, and needed surgery to remove one disc and fuse two vertebrae. Attorneys for the railroad, based in Omaha, said Currie's injuries were related to smoking and genetics.

The case was filed under the Federal Employers' Liability Act, which deals specifically with railroad workers who suffer on-the-job injuries.

A call to attorneys at the Thompson Coburn law firm in Chicago, which represented the railroad, was not immediately returned.

Marlon A. Walker covers Illinois general news for stltoday.com and The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @marlonawalker

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