What’s the Problem?
Railroad employees are at risk of cancer in a number of ways, due to the many known carcinogens present in the workplace. Asbestos, benzene exposure, radioactive materials and exposure to diesel fumes are common examples of conditions which can lead to the development of cancer in railroad workers.
Occupational Cancers in Railroad Workers
Railroad workers have been diagnosed with the following forms of cancer:
- Lung cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Colon cancer
- Bone cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Asbestos related lung cancer
- Rhabdomyosarcoma (rare child cancer found in clusters around CSX Rail yards)
Occupational cancers are completely preventable if railroad companies adhere to government workplace safety regulations. Each lawsuit sends a message that failure to protect workers against known carcinogens will not be tolerated and take a heavy toll on their profits.
Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure in Railroad Workers
Asbestos was widely used in the manufacturing of train and locomotive components from the 1930s to the 1970s. Even though the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) severely restricted asbestos use in construction materials in the 1970s, railroads continued using it extensively, and in many cases railroad companies were aware of the health risks and failed to warn employees. Exposure to asbestos is still a significant risk among railroad workers if their companies continue to use components that were manufactured before the 1980s.
Railroad workers are also at risk of exposure to benzene, a dangerous chemical widely recognized as having the ability to cause cancer and other serious health problems. Benzene is commonly used as a solvent for degreasing locomotives, as well as being present in diesel exhaust. The chemical has highly toxic effects, whether absorbed through the skin or inhaled.
Benzene can cause anemia and damage to the immune system, making affected individuals more susceptible to infection. The chemical has also been linked to an increased risk for leukemia, lymphomas/Hodgkin’s disease, cancer of the bladder and myeloma.
There have also been cases of railroad workers who have developed cancer and other serious illnesses as a result of exposure to radiation and radioactive substances while working for railroads that transported materials to and from nuclear weapons plants. In a number of areas across the U.S., these facilities required uranium and other highly toxic radioactive materials to build nuclear weapons. It is very common to transport these materials by railroad/train.
Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA)
Railroad workers who developed cancer have the right to seek compensation since their disease was caused by exposure to asbestos, benzene, radioactive substances or other hazardous materials. Employers who failed to provide a safe place to work may be in violation of the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). Under FELA, injured railroad employees can file complaints directly against the company if they can prove negligence in causing the injury.
Is There a Class Action?
There is currently no class action lawsuit pending for railroad workers who were diagnosed with cancer. However, our lawyers are accepting potential individual lawsuits for current and former railroad employees who developed the disease. If we determine that you have a valid case, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Railroad Workers Who May Be Eligible for Compensation
- Track maintenance
- Clerk type workers
Update: Louisiana Man Alleges Cancer from Railroad Work
July 13, 2017 – A man from St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, who formerly worked as a railroad carman/mechanic has filed a lawsuit alleging that exposure to hazardous chemicals caused his kidney cancer. The Illinois Central Railroad Co. is responsible for the injury because it failed to supply and maintain a safe workplace, according to the lawsuit.
Pennsylvania Railroad Worker Alleges FELA Violations after Kidney Cancer Diagnosis
May 31, 2017 – A man who was diagnosed with kidney cancer after 40 years of service as a railroad worker has filed a lawsuit against his former employers, claiming they violated the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). According to the suit, Plaintiff Kenneth L. Kumpf was exposed to various toxic substances “including but not limited to chemicals, solvents, diesel fuel/exhaust, benzene, heavy metals, manganese and rock/mineral dust and fibers,” which led to his development of the disease.
Illinois Railroad Company Found Liable in Mesothelioma Lawsuit
January 13, 2017 – A Mississippi court has found the Illinois Central Railroad Company liable for the death of one of its former employees who died from mesothelioma. The jury determined that the deceased, Bennie Oakes, had incurred $250,000 in damages, but that he was 80% responsible for the development of his mesothelioma – thus the railroad company was only responsible for 20%, or $50,000.
Lawsuit Alleges Toxic Exposure Led to Cancer Death of Union Pacific Railroad Worker
October 17, 2016 – Union Pacific Railroad is being sued by the estate of a deceased man who died from renal cancer after working for the company 35 years. According to the lawsuit, during Stanley Adams’ employment with Union Pacific, he was exposed to toxic substances including asbestos, cigarette smoke and diesel fumes that caused him to develop and ultimately die from renal cancer.
Do I Have a Railroad Cancer Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in railroad cancer lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, If you developed cancer after working as a railroad employee, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.