Case Description: Railroad Conductor and Switchman/Death from Mesothelioma/Asbestos
Court/Date: Each case settled between 2000 and 2004 during suit.
Outcome: Confidential settlements in two cases
Staff: Richard N. Shapiro, attorney; Jackie L. Tilton, paralegal;
What Happened: Our firm has represented two workers employed by a large Class One railroad. Each of the worker's were conductors and switchmen employed by the railroad with over twenty years of service working in normal freight operations for railroads. R.T., the earlier of the two clients, contracted asbestos lung disease. The lung disease that he contracted is called mesothelioma, which is a horrible terminal lung cancer for which there is no cure. R.T. retained our firm very close to his untimely death and our firm represented the estate in the action against the employing railroad following his death. D.H. was also a switchman employed in the state of Alabama working for a major railroad. He worked for over 25 years for the railroad in freight switching activities and was unaware that he was working with or even handling asbestos. Nonetheless, it was apparent that D.H. was exposed to a number of products utilized by the railroads that contained asbestos materials and asbestos insulation, including train cars, locomotive engines, and office buildings and work places that were insulated with asbestos.
Strategy: In both cases, our firm was required to file suit and then begin negotiations with the railroad on behalf of the families. In each case, the clients passed away from horrible terminal mesothelioma. The railroad argued that it had no asbestos in any of the products or things to which conductors or switchmen would have been normally exposed, however, we retained key experts in the field of industrial hygiene who reviewed many internal railroad documents and invoices and concluded that the workers were clearly exposed to asbestos in their work activities.
The results: Confidential settlements satisfactory to the surviving family members.