As an attorney who represents injured railroad workers across the country, I often deal with injuries on the railroads involving broken bones or spinal injuries cause by accidents or falls.
But working on the railroad can also expose you to a number of hazardous chemicals and substances which can cause serious and potentially life-threatening conditions.
Recently two cases of hazardous exposure in New Jersey were settled for $2.05 million. In the first case the plaintiff’s husband had worked for Conrail from 1980 to 1987 and for New Jersey Transit from 1997 to 2008, reported FELA Reporter. He was diagnosed with gastric cancer in 2009 and died two years later at 62.
There was a second case involving a 42-year-old worker who started working for New Jersey Transit in 1991. He was diagnosed with Lymphoma in 2010 and was reported to be undergoing chemotherapy at the time of the case.
Both of the workers were trackmen. In their complaints it was alleged that a combination of pesticides, herbicides, diesel exhaust, creosote, calcium and chloride, led to their cancers. The railroad was accused of failing to warn the workers of the dangers they faced and failing to provide proper equipment. The lawsuits said no tests were carried out on the air and soil at the worksites.
Both of the cases were consolidated at trial. Conrail settled with the first plaintiff for $150,000 before jury selection. NJT settled with each plaintiff for $950,000 after jury selection. All cases are different and we cannot guarantee the same result in a given case.
The plaintiffs were represented by Barry Eichen, William Crutchlow and Thomas Rinaldi of New Jersey.
Railroad workers come into contact with many dangerous materials. Asbestos, a material commonly used as insulation and for other purposes, caused the scarring of the lung tissue for many decades and is linked to cancer and mesothelioma. Although there has been a considerable effort to remove asbestos from homes and buildings since the 1970s, it continues to pose a grave threat to rail workers, because it was commonly used in brake shoes and to line other components of a train car. Workers who helped remove asbestos from trains back in the 1980s may have only recently developed symptoms due to their exposure more than 30 years ago. Diesel fumes on trains are also linked to cancers.
Many railroad workers know that the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) protects them if they have been injured in a railroad accident. If you’re a rail worker suffering from lung cancer or any other disease, it is important to know that it also offers a potential legal remedy if your illness can be linked to your job. Call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at (866) 455-6657.