What You Need to Know about Railroad Cancer Lawsuits
If you developed cancer after working for the railroad, you may be eligible to file a railroad cancer lawsuit. Cancer is a diagnosis that devastates entire families. Conductors, engineers, track maintenance workers, machinists, switchmen, and carmen didn’t go to their job each day knowing that they were putting themselves at risk for cancer. These men and women simply believed that their employers provided them with a job to do, the right equipment to do it, and followed federal guidelines related to hazardous and carcinogenic materials. Yet, railroad cancer lawsuit plaintiffs allege that exposure to benzene, asbestos, heavy metals, solvents, chemicals, and other dangerous substances and materials caused them to develop cancer.
Railroad Cancer and Benzene
Benzene is one of the materials listed in the railroad cancer lawsuits by plaintiffs. Although benzene in its purest form was banned in the United States 20 years ago, it’s still an ingredient in many solvents and degreasers that are commonly used by railroad workers. It’s also a by-product of diesel exhaust. It’s highly toxic and is absorbed through the skin.
Benzene exposure has been linked to an increased risk of leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, bone cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, and myeloma. Additionally, benzene is also linked to anemia and can damage the immune system.
Railroad Workers and Exposure to Asbestos
Although asbestos was severely limited in what it can be used in during the 1970’s, it was used extensively in the manufacturing of railroad and locomotive parts between 1930 and OSHA’s decision in the 70’s to limit how it can be used. While the goal was to limit exposure to asbestos because of its link to asbestos related lung cancer and mesothelioma. However, railroad companies continued to use the previously manufactured parts. In fact, some still continue to use the existing parts instead of replacing them.
Railroad Cancer Lawsuits and the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA)
The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) gives railroad workers who were diagnosed with cancer the power to file a lawsuit against their employers when the cancer may have been caused by exposure to benzene, asbestos, radioactive substances, or another hazardous or carcinogenic material. When a railway business doesn’t provide a safe place to work, they are in violation of FELA. This gives current, previous, and retired employees the right to file a railroad cancer lawsuit and name the company as a defendant.
Plaintiffs Must Be Able to Prove Negligence
It’s important that you work with an attorney who has verifiable experience in cases where an employee is made sick because of their work environment. In a railroad cancer lawsuit, you, as the plaintiff, must be able to prove that your employer was negligent. Some examples of negligence include not providing the proper equipment (such as safety suits to handle certain materials), continuing to use locomotive parts manufactured with asbestos, and not providing the right equipment to minimize your risk of benzene exposure.
Although a lawyer cannot reverse a cancer diagnosis, one can help you get the compensation that you and your family deserve for your workplace illness. Bandas Law Firm, PC is here to help. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We provide free case consultations for potential railroad cancer lawsuits. To speak with a lawyer about your concerns, call us today at 361-541-4531 or use our contact form. Consultations are 100% confidential.