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Railroad Workers and Lung Disease
Railroad Workers and Lung Disease

I pride myself in helping clients through their toughest times.- Bill O’Mara

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Virginia Lawyers Helping Railroad Workers Suffering from Mesothelioma and Lung Disease

Rail employees are at a high risk for lung damage

Engineers and conductors on trains can get cancer from the bad air at work. As a train crew worker, you may have been exposed to diesel fumes in the air that can damage your lungs without you even knowing it. If you are suffering from lung disease after having worked in rail transportation, you may be entitled to compensation. 

Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers represents railroad employees and others who have suffered illnesses and injuries due to unsafe conditions in rail yards and on railroads. If your illness is connected to your work on a locomotive cab, our firm can help you with your legal options for recovery.

Asbestos in train cars and brake pads can lead to cancer

Asbestos, a fibrous material commonly used as insulation and for other purposes, was found to produce severe scarring of lung tissue. It also has been strongly linked to other lung diseases, including cancer and mesothelioma. Although there has been a considerable effort to remove asbestos from residences and buildings since the 1970s, it continues to pose a threat to rail workers, because it was commonly used in brake shoes and to line other parts of a train car. Workers who helped remove asbestos from trains in the 1980s may have only recently developed symptoms due to their exposure more than 30 years ago. Many railroad workers know that the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) protects them if they have been injured in a railroad accident. If you’re a rail worker suffering from lung cancer or disease, it is important to know that it also offers a potential legal remedy if your illness can be linked to your job.  

Exposure can lead to serious health conditions

Inhaling asbestos fiber, dust, wood or glass particles and other fumes is difficult even for short periods of time, and constant contact with those substances can lead to permanent and irreversible damage. Chronic and severe conditions that commonly arise in rail workers include:

  • Lung cancer  Lung cancer is a painful and often deadly disease that comes in two varieties: small cell and non-small cell. Treatment options include chemotherapy, which is often difficult and expensive.
  • Mesothelioma — Mesothelioma is a form of cancer directly related to exposure to asbestos.
  • Other cancers — Exposure to diesel fumes and other chemicals increases workers' chances of caner of the digestive tract, colon, larynx, esophagus and kidneys. 
  • Asbestosis —  Asbestosis is permanent scarring of the interior of the lungs, making breathing difficult. It is caused by inhaling microscopic fibers from asbestos, which is commonly used in brake padding and elsewhere in train cars. There is no cure for this condition.
  • Silicosis  Similar to asbestosis, silicosis is caused by tiny bits of glass particles that are inhaled and cause permanent damage to the lungs over time. It is common in professions that involve woodworking, sand blasting, and construction activities such as those in rail yards.
  • Pulmonary problems — Working in a rail yard can lead to exposure to oil, chemicals, fumes, dust and other potentially harmful substances. If you have experienced difficulty breathing or other symptoms that have not yet been diagnosed, your condition could be related to your work.

Lung disease and related medical problems suffered by railroad workers are covered by FELA. Our attorneys are experienced at helping rail employees recover damages under FELA law to pay for what is often expensive and long-lasting medical treatment.

Contact us if you have experienced lung or breathing problems following rail work

Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers works with clients who have suffered medical problems related to working on the railroad. If you think your lung condition, such as mesothelioma, was caused by your working conditions at a rail yard, you may have a valid claim under FELA. Our firm offers you a free case evaluation and contingency fees, so you do not pay until you receive compensation. Contact us at 757.455.0077 or online for an appointment.

John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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