I've retired from the railroad a long time ago. Can I still file a claim for an asbestos cancer or mesothelioma diagnosis? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

We get asked this question a lot. These claims arise under something called the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA).  This is a federal law which states that there is a three-year statute of limitations for such an injury or wrongful death claim, but that the claim does not arise until the worker “knew or should have known” that the claim was connected to their railroad occupation. 

A careful analysis must be done on the statute of limitations issues.  However, passage of more than three years does not prohibit a claim, particularly if there was no awareness or medical professional that had ever given an opinion that the injury or disease was connected to the railroad occupation more than three years before the diagnosis for example.