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Asbestos Exposure among Railroad Workers

Exposure to asbestos among railroaders was most prevalent in the 1950’s through the 1970’s. There was some risk of exposure even through the mid 1980's and beyond. Any railroader who worked during those years is at risk for developing asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma and should undergo medical monitoring for them.

Asbestos was used in locomotive and rail car brake shoes in the 1960's and 1970's. Switchmen, conductors, brakemen, firemen, and locomotive engineers probably have been exposed to asbestos fibers from brakes being applied and from handling the asbestos brake shoes. Asbestos was also used in shielding for steam engines and gaskets in diesel locomotives. Carmen responsible for changing and maintaining these parts on trains may have been exposed during the maintenance process. Asbestos was also used in insulating materials for track maintenance equipment, and Maintenance of Way employees may have been exposed when working with such equipment. Asbestos was even present in office building insulation. Former clerks and trainmasters may also be at risk particularly if they were working in close proximity to insulation being removed or installed.

Mesothelioma among Railroad Workers

Unlike lung cancer, mesothelioma is not also caused by smoking cigarettes or exposure to benzene in diesel exhaust. The only known cause for mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos or similar fibers, so unlike the other cancers the cause of mesothelioma is difficult for defendants to argue. Mesothelioma may take between 20–50 years to develop after exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, mesothelioma is an extremely lethal form of cancer and most patients die within 12 months of diagnosis.

What is the statute of limitations for an asbestos lawsuit?

Statutes of limitations for injury lawsuits vary by state. In Texas, an individual must file their injury related lawsuit within 2 years of the injury. In Louisiana, the case must be filed within one (1) year of the injury. For asbestos related lawsuits, the time limit would start to run from the date of the diagnosis of a disease attributed to asbestos exposure. The shorter statute of limitations does not apply to the railroad you worked for. The statute of limitations on an FELA case is 3 years.

Do I need a FELA Attorney for my railroad asbestos lawsuit?

An experienced FELA attorney is the best option to maximize a railroader’s asbestos related claim. FELA attorneys such as Rome Arata and Baxley best know the facts about railroader asbestos exposure. If you are diagnosed with asbestosis, lung disease or mesothelioma and believe the cause was exposure to asbestos while working on the railroad please call us for a free consultation at 866-993-0001.

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