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updated: 3/1/2013 6:38 AM

Norfolk Southern ordered to pay fired worker $438,000

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Associated Press

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- A federal agency has ordered Norfolk Southern Railway Co. to rehire an Indiana employee fired in 2010 and pay him nearly $438,000 in damages.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said the Fort Wayne-based crane operator was fired in August 2010 after Norfolk Southern "determined he had made false statements" about an on-the-job eye injury he had suffered.

But OSHA said its inquiry found the worker would not have been terminated if he had not reported the workplace injury.

Norfolk Southern was ordered to rehire the worker and pay him $175,000 in punitive damages, nearly $156,500 in back wages and benefits, $100,000 in compensation for pain and suffering and nearly $6,100 in other expenses.

The Journal Gazette reports Norfolk Southern said Thursday it will appeal the ruling.

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