Railroad sued after employees develop asbestos-related lung diseases

Several trackmen for Union Pacific have filed a lawsuit against the company claiming they have developed lung diseases after exposure to asbestos-containing products in the workplace.

Howard Taylor, Will S. Donald, Harrold Gregory, Dale E. Haynes and Rennie L. Hance filed suit against Union Pacific Railroad Co. on Dec. 28 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division.

Taylor was employed by Union Pacific from 1968 until 2002, Donald was employed from 1976 to 2002, Gregory was employed from 1978 until 1984, Haynes was employed by Union Pacific from 1980 until 1990 and Hance was employed by the defendant from 1969 until 1998. All worked as trackmen.

The men state that because of their employment with Union Pacific they were exposed to asbestos and asbestos-containing materials and have been diagnosed with asbestos-related lung disease.

Union Pacific is accused of negligence under the Federal Employers' Liability Act for using asbestos-containing materials for decades after becoming aware of hazardous nature of the materials, for failing to inspect equipment for the presence of asbestos-containing material, and for failing to remove asbestos-containing material from its equipment.

The defendant is also accused of negligence for failing to warn of the presence of asbestos-containing material, failing to warn of the synergistic effect between smoking and asbestos exposure, failing to properly train employees, failing to provide proper respirators, failing to conduct air monitoring, failing to provide comprehensive asbestos medical examinations, failing to medically monitor the plaintiffs and for violating its own policies regarding the materials.

The plaintiffs are asking for an award of damages for medical expenses, mental anguish, physical pain and suffering, fear of cancer, physical impairment, court costs and interest.

The workers are represented by J. Kirkland Sammons of Sammons & Berry in Houston.

A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield is assigned to the case.

Case No. 1:11-cv-00743

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