Man sues KCS for alleged benzene exposure

Kelly Holleran Aug. 10, 2009, 3:00am

A man who claims he was exposed to benzene and other carcinogens throughout his career with the Kansas City Southern Railway Co. has filed suit against his former employer.

Richard Czuprynski filed a lawsuit Aug. 4 in Jefferson County District Court against the railroad.

Czuprynski claims that while he worked as an engineer, brakeman and conductor for KCS from 1976 through March, he was exposed to benzene, benzene-containing chemicals, xylene, toluene, other mixed solvents and diesel exhaust.

Because of his exposure to the substance, Czuprynski developed Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, according to the complaint.

The cancer caused Czuprynski to experience physical pain, suffering, mental anguish, lost earnings and benefits, physical impairment and disfigurement and to incur medical costs, the suit states.

He blames KCS for a number of negligent acts, including the company's failure to provide him with a safe place to work, its failure to limit his exposure to hazardous substances, its failure to warn Czuprynski of the dangers of exposure to the substances and its failure to provide adequate equipment to him.

Czuprynski is seeking a judgment within the jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, plus post-judgment interest, costs and other relief to which he may be entitled.

Bristol Baxley of Rome, Arata and Baxley in Pearland and Keith A. Patton of Shrader and Associates in Houston will be representing him.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: D184-608.

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