Former SSW Worker Awarded $1.7 Million

Herington, Kansas

ST.LOUIS, Mo. - A jury in St. Louis has awarded $1.7 million to injured railroad conductor, Tommy Calloway. The Jury reached the verdict after a one week trial which ended Friday.

The trial was held in the St. Louis City Circuit Court with Judge Don Kennedy, a visiting judge from Kansas City. Calloway, age 47, from Pine Bluff, Ark., was a conductor for the St. Louis Southwestern Railway, a Missouri company, which is a part of the Southern Pacific Railroad.

Calloway, a member of the United Transportation Union, alleged he was hurt while working on Nov. 30, 1992, near Jonesboro, Ark., while aligning a switch and adjusting a drawbar, due to the fault of St. Louis Southwestern Railway Company, his employer. He contended that the railroad failed to lubricate its equipment, failed to provide adequate tools to perform the job, and destroyed its maintenance records of the equipment.

The railroad denied it was at fault and contended Calloway should receive nothing because the injury was his fault. Calloway ruptured a disc in his back and has been unable to return to his job.

Jerome J. Schlichter of the law firm of Schlichter Bogard & Denton in St. Louis, represented Calloway at trial. Schlichter said: "For three years the company denied any responsibility to this man who worked hard for them for 23 years. We showed they put their interests ahead of safety, and Tommy has paid the price. The jury agreed fully with our position and justice was served. This shows companies that they cannot continue to ignore safety and then stonewall people who are injured as a result."