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Shapiro & Appleton

Railroad Mesothelioma Cancers: What the Railroads Knew and When

What did railroad companies like Norfolk Southern (NS), CSX, and Conrail know about asbestos and its connection to mesothelioma cancer? Well, it turns out they knew a lot. And they found out decades ago.

Internal documents show that the nation's railroads were aware of the health risks and side effects associated with asbestos dating all the way to the 1950s. Did they do anything to remove asbestos and keep the workplace safe for their railroad workers? No. Despite being aware of the risks of using of asbestos on pipes, engines, and other items for decades, most railroad companies did not start removing asbestos from diesel freight locomotive engines until the 1990s.

In the meantime, rail workers like brakemen, switchmen, conductors, engineers, and car repairmen developed asbestos-related diseases and cancers like mesothelioma.

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Why did the nation's railroads not remove asbestos insulation from their diesel locomotive engines? Simple answer: Because removing the asbestos would have cost a lot of money and the railroads opted to maximize profits instead of keeping their workers safe.

This is why it frustrates me when I meet a rail worker mesothelioma client who has had his life changed forever and the railroad company is doing everything they can to avoid compensating the worker. It's like rubbing salt in a wound. Not only did the worker develop mesothelioma cancer because he simply showed up for work and was forced to breathe in toxic asbestos fibers around the workplace, but the worker can't even get proper compensation when he is at death's door battling an incurable form of cancer. It is wrong, plain and simple.

That is why our law firm will continue to proudly represent rail workers stricken with mesothelioma cancer and do everything we can to make sure the railroad company provides compensation to the worker and his family.


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Richard N. Shapiro
Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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