Personal Injury Law Firm in New York and Seattle

Railroad Cancer Attorney

With its high potential for severe injuries and even permanent incapacitation, railroad jobs have always been considered highly dangerous. However, as more studies show compelling ties between railroad occupational hazards and several types of cancer, it is becoming clear that the danger may have been grossly underestimated. 

If you currently work for a railroad company or if you worked for one in the past, you may have been put at severe risk of exposure to cancer or other serious ailments.

Federal law and OSHA regulations require employers to provide sufficient direction and protection to ensure a safe workplace environment. Employers who fail in this obligation may be held accountable and proceeded against for the consequences of their negligence. 

If you received any type of cancer diagnosis after working for a railroad company for several years, you may be entitled to compensation for the harm done to you. Speak to a railroad cancer attorney to understand your rights and legal options. 

At Oshan and Associates, we have a recognized track record of holding irresponsible employers and government agencies to account. We understand the pain and disruption that a cancer diagnosis can cause and are committed to helping you fight for the compensation that will help you recover. 

Call us at (206) 335-3880 to schedule a consultation with our railroad injury attorneys today. We offer free case reviews and will not collect a dime from you unless we win. 

High risk of cancer in railroad jobs 

Railway workers are routinely exposed to a number of dangerous substances and chemicals that have been known to cause cancer. Although most of the substances were banned by the relevant regulatory agencies, many employers were slow to implement reforms. 

In addition, some old locomotives still in use continue to house these components, exposing railroad workers to even greater risk. These chemicals include: 

  • Benzene: A toxic, flammable liquid used in the production of lubricants and other materials, benzene is classified as a known carcinogen by several bodies. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, the National Toxicology Program and the Environmental Protection Agency are all agreed on its danger. Yet, railroad workers were routinely exposed to the compound, especially through diesel exhaust that often clouds the interior of locomotive cabs. Although it was believed that benzene could only cause lung cancer, it has been shown to cause other types of cancer including mesothelioma, multiple myeloma, rectal cancer and more. 
  • Asbestos: Asbestos is one of the leading causes of cancer in occupational environments. Yet, from 1990 to 1999, studies showed that the railroad industry was the 4th most frequently listed industry on death certificates of people that died from asbestosis, a condition caused by asbestos inhalation. Asbestos was widely used in the railroad industry and several others due to its insulation properties. However, inhalation of asbestos fibers has been shown to cause severe illness and puts railroad workers at greater risk of developing malignant mesothelioma
  • Creosote: This compound has been used as a wood preservative on railroad ties for decades. However, the National Toxicology Program has associated the compound with a range of cancers including skin and scrotal cancer. Other studies determined that fuel employees exposed to the compound had a risk of lethal scrotal cancer up to 500 times greater than other workers. 
  • Radioactive materials: Apart from exposure to dangerous compounds, Department of Transportation records show that from the 1960s, radioactive cargo was often transported by train in the US. This cargo, often including enriched uranium and other dangerous materials, was often transported without informing railroad employees of the danger or providing protection for workers. As a result, workers may have been exposed to cancer-inducing radioactive materials, even without being aware of the danger.  

    Which railroad employees are at risk?

    The consistent exposure of railroad workers to these dangerous situations and chemicals continued unabated in several companies until regulatory agencies began a crackdown on non-compliance. 

    Unfortunately, the damage is already done for hundreds of railroad employees all over the US. Some may be more at risk of exposure-related cancer and these may include:

    • Carman
    • Conductors
    • Engineers
    • Machinists
    • Switchman
    • Track maintenance

      However, this list is not restrictive. If you worked at a railroad company in any capacity and have been diagnosed with cancer, you may have a claim for compensation against the company. Contact a railroad cancer attorney to understand your rights and options. 

      Currently, exposure to a dangerous railroad environment is being linked to a wide variety of cancers including: 

      • Asbestosis
      • Bladder cancer
      • Bone cancer
      • Colon cancer
      • Kidney cancer
      • Leukemia
      • Lung cancer
      • Mesothelioma
      • Multiple myeloma


      What are my options if my cancer was caused by occupational exposure?

      Under federal law, you may be entitled to pursue your employer for negligence if your cancer was caused due to occupational exposure. The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) was enacted in 1908 to give railroad workers a means of pursuing redress against negligent employers. 

      The Act provides a right of action where it can be proved that an employer failed to live up to the standard of care imposed under the Act. This may include situations where the employer failed to do what they should have done or carried out actions inconsistent with the duty of care placed on them. 

      Under FELA, you are entitled to hold your employer accountable for their negligence if they: 

      • Failed to provide a safe workplace environment.
      • Failed to perform routine inspections and maintenance.
      • Failed to enforce standards and policies to protect employees.
      • Failed to adequately train their employees.
      • Failed to provide proper tools or safety equipment or enforce their use.

        The Act also makes employers responsible where they have failed to abide by standards imposed by other relevant statutes and regulations. This includes OSHA regulations regarding standards for maintenance, acceptable working conditions and the use or handling of hazardous materials. 

        To recover compensation under the Act, it is not required for an employee to prove that their cancer diagnosis was solely caused by the employer. This means if your employer has even a slight degree of fault, they can be held responsible and ordered to pay you compensation. As a result, it would be immaterial if you contributed in some way to the cancer diagnosis such as through consistent smoking, 

        What kind of compensation can I recover?

        When you contact the experienced railroad cancer attorneys at Oshan and Associates, our first task will be to understand your story and how much the cancer diagnosis has impacted your life. 

        We will bring this information to bear in pursuing the maximum compensation possible for your injuries. Unlike workers’ compensation laws, there is no predetermined cap for compensation. This means you are not restricted in how much you can request or that the court can award. 

        In making its determination of compensation, the court may consider several factors including: 

        • Lost wages.
        • Pain and suffering. 
        • Out of pocket expenses.
        • Cost of medical treatment.
        • Impairments to quality of life.

          Speak to a railroad cancer attorney today 

          You deserve compensation for the disruption you are suffering today because of your employer’s negligence. Do not let them get away with the harm they have caused you. Contact the railroad injury attorneys at Oshan and Associates today to speak with an attorney than can provide guidance on the next steps in your railroad cancer claim. Call us at (206) 335-3880 today.