Railroads Settle Two Mesothelioma Death Cases | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

What Happened

Our Virginia-based railroad injury and wrongful death law firm successfully represent two families in separate wrongful death cases.

In the first case, R.T., was diagnosed with a fatal lung disease after working as a train conductor for a Class I freight railroad company for more than 20 years. He hired us shortly before he succumbed to his uncurable mesothelioma, and we continued pursuing his claim under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) on behalf of this family.

D.H. from Alabama had already died when his family hired us to represent them in their FELA case. Their husband and father had no knowledge that or warning about handling multiple pieces of gear and equipment loaded and coated with mesothelioma-causing asbestos insulation almost continuously during his 25-plus-year career as a railroad switchman.

Both R.T. and D.H. breathed in asbestos fibers from insulation on train cars, in locomotive engines and throughout railroad office buildings.

Related Content

Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma Among Railroad Workers
Mesothelioma: The Preventable Cancer
How FELA Differs From Workers’ Compensation

Key Legal Strategy

In both cases, the railroad refused to admit any liability until after our railroad wrongful death attorney filed federal lawsuits.

Each time, the company argued that none of its rail cars, locomotives or buildings used asbestos insulation in ways that would have regularly exposed a conductor or a switchman to mesothelioma-causing fibers. We proved this to be untrue by retaining industrial hygiene experts who reviewed internal company documents and invoices and concluded that the deceased railroad workers encountered asbestos often while performing their normal job duties.

Delayed negotiations with the railroad resulted in confidential settlements that the families considered satisfactory.

Our Virginia-based FELA attorneys represent railroad workers and their families across the United States. We welcome all types of injury and wrongful death cases, but we have more than 30 years of experience helping mesothelioma victims.

Dates: 2000 and 2004

Staff: Richard N. Shapiro, attorney