Railroad employees sue claiming decades of asbestos exposure

By Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau | Jan 28, 2013

A group of Union Pacific employees have filed a lawsuit claiming that they have developed an asbestos-related lung disease due to decades' worth of exposure.

Henry J. Buckley, Gilbert A. Curtis, Ronald Morale, Jesse Sasser Jr. and Walter Williams III filed suit against Union Pacific Railroad Co. on Jan. 21 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division.

The plaintiffs were employed as track laborers by Union Pacific from various times starting from 1969 to approximately 2012.  The men claim that during their employment they were exposed to asbestos and asbestos-containing materials and have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related lung disease.

The defendant is accused of negligence for:

• Using asbestos-containing materials for decades after Union Pacific became aware of the harmful and/or hazardous nature of these materials;

• Failing to inspect and remove its cars and equipment for the presence of asbestos;

• Failing to warn the plaintiffs regarding the presence of asbestos or of the synergistic effect between smoking and asbestos exposure;

• Failing to properly train the plaintiffs, failing to provide proper respirators or to conduct air monitoring to determine the levels of asbestos;

• Failing to provide comprehensive medical examinations; and

• Failing to medically monitor plaintiffs for asbestos-related conditions.

The lawsuit is seeking an award of damages for medical expenses, mental anguish, physical pain and suffering, fear of cancer, physical impairment, interest and court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by J. Kirkland Sammons of Sammons & Berry P.C. in Houston.

A jury trial is requested.

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

Case No. 1:13-cv-00022

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