Among the hazards in choosing a career in the railroad is the presence of and exposure to asbestos, which was readily used in the 20th century railroad companies because of its lastingness and durability. Asbestos was used in the creation of many of the train’s various components, railroad equipment and several types of insulation dating to the 1930s. Asbestos materials are released into the air as microscopic materials and are inhaled by individuals and can have detrimental impact on that individual’s health and life overall.
The practice of using asbestos in the railroad industry was consistent for decades, until Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) stepped in and limited the overall used of asbestos in the production of train components in the 1970s. Although, some railroad companies chose to still use asbestos into the 1980s.
Many railroad companies allegedly knew of the risks associated with the dangers of using asbestos, yet chose not to warn their employees of such hazards associated with their occupational contact and exposure to asbestos. Exposure to asbestos has been linked to:
- Lung cancer
- Other lung problems, including:
- Pleural plaques (changes in the membranes surrounding the lungs);
- Thickening of the membranes that surround the lungs; and
- Pleural effusions (abnormal collections of fluid between the lungs and the inside wall of the chest)
In 2006, railroad worker Ray Williams was awarded $7.4 million in his Federal Employer
Liability Act (FELA) claim against CSX Transportation. Williams was employed and worked in areas exposed to asbestos for over 30 years which ultimately resulted in mesothelioma.
In 2003, six former railroad employees sued their former employer Norfolk & Western Railway Co. on an asbestos related claim. The six employees claimed that their former employer negligently exposed them to areas and materials, primarily insulation, that resulted in them contracting asbestosis. The six former employees’ lawsuits succeeded and their final judgments totaled $4.9 million.
If you have worked with or around asbestos materials or have been in contact with someone who has worked with or around asbestos materials or around railroad materials during their employment and have experienced any asbestos related negative effects, contact the Naumes Law Group 844-826-8445 for a free consultation.