Railroad workers sue UP over asbestos exposure

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Feb. 13, 2012, 8:56am

Several former railroad workers have filed a lawsuit against Union Pacific, claiming they were exposed to asbestos and asbestos-containing products for years.

Larry G. Moore, Raymond M. Edwards, Prince A. Hardin, Willie D. Scroggins, Robert L. Vineyard, Don L. Ward and Jerry G. Woody filed suit against Union Pacific Railroad Co. on Feb. 8 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division.

The men were employed as brakeman, switchman or conductor from various times between 1971 until 2011.

Union Pacific is accused of violating the Federal Employer's Liability Act and accused of negligence for failing to provide a safe place to work and for continuing to use asbestos-containing products despite knowledge regarding the health hazards associated with occupational exposure.

Union Pacific is also accused of failing to warn its employees regarding the presence of asbestos and asbestos-containing products, failing to provide proper respirators, failing to provide asbestos medical examinations and to medically monitor the plaintiffs, and for violating its own policies regarding asbestos-containing materials.

Union Pacific violated the Locomotive Boiler Inspection Act for failing to provide locomotives and its parts which were in proper and safe condition, the lawsuit alleges.

Union Pacific is sued as successor-in-interest to the Southern Pacific Transportation Co., the St. Louis Southwestern Railway Co. also known as Cotton Belt, the Missouri Pacific Railroad Co., the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Co. and the Chicago & Northwestern Transportation Co.

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

The plaintiffs are represented by J. Kirkland Sammons of Sammons & Berry PC in Houston. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Ron Clark is assigned to the case.

Case No. 1:12-cv-00061

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