Employee of UP Gets Big Award

The Herington Times
Osawatomie, Kansas

ST.LOUIS, Mo. - The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld a jury's verdict that awarded Kenneth C. Holley just over $1 million against Union Pacific Railroad for injuries received Jan. 2, 1990 in a Little Rock, Ark., shop.

Holley, who was 40 then, was a boilermaker. Testimony in the trial indicated he was required to crawl into an engine compartment in an awkward position to place a bolt that was not safely accessible.

The bolt was three feet into the engine compartment and about 89 inches off the ground. Holley suffered a herniated cervical disc, which required surgery, while performing the task. Because of the injury, he won't be able to work at the railroad although he can do light work.

During the trial, UP denied any fault and claimed Holley was responsible for the injury.

A jury here returned a verdict in favor of Holley in May, 1992. UP appealed to the Missouri Committee of Appeals, which upheld the verdict. UP then appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court which also upheld the jury's verdict.

After the verdict, Holley's lawyer, Jerome J. Schlichter, of the firm of Schlichter Bogard & Denton, said the railroad infused Holley to be hurt because it did not provide him a safe place to work "and they fought us through three courts. Now, they have to pay."