Yes there is a claim for occupational diseases, it depends on whether it can be proved that the railroad failed to properly protect the worker during his workplace activities over the many years.  And there is a 3-year statute of limitations with a discovery rule.  The 3 years begins to run when the worker “knew or should have known” that their occupational disease was connected with the railroad activities.  Often, the worker does not know what caused the lung disease until a doctor diagnoses the condition so that often is when the statute begins to run.  There are exceptions, consult with one of our attorneys if you have a question.