Widow sues railroad over deceased husband's asbestos exposure

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau May 16, 2011, 7:41am

GALVESTON – Alleging that her husband died from lung cancer linked to lengthy asbestos exposure from his 40-year stint working for the predecessors of BNSF Railway, Teague resident Elouise York pursues legal action.

A lawsuit filed May 5 in Galveston County District Court explains that the late Ernest B. York Jr. came into contact with "dusty" asbestos-containing products as an employee of Fort Worth & Denver Railroad Co., Burlington-Rock Island Railroad Co., Burlington Northern Railroad and Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway. , but was unaware of the potential health risks and dangers they reportedly posed.

Ernest York worked in the railroad industry from 1957 to 1998. According to court papers, he worked on steam and diesel engines which traveled and operated between terminals in Teague and Galveston as a brakeman and conductor.

His widow says his duties and responsibilities required him to work in the vicinity of toxic substances including asbestos and asbestos-containing products.

"The decedent's exposure to asbestos and other toxic substances is herein alleged for the special period of time commencing with the onset of the decedent's railroad work through Dec. 31, 1976," the suit says.

It adds Ernest B. York Jr. was diagnosed with lung cancer sometime around 2008 and died last Nov. 24.

His estate consequently seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Roven-Kaplan LLP is representing the plaintiff, and Galveston County 56th District Court Judge Lonnie Cox is presiding over the case.

Case No. 11-cv-0739

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