The attorneys at Doran & Murphy recently had the honor of representing Mr. Richard Arpin, a railroad worker who developed lung cancer as a result of his occupational exposure to asbestos and diesel exhaust while working for the railroad from 1969 to 2004. He was employed by the Penn Central Railroad and Consolidated Rail Corporation in the Collinwood Diesel Terminal in Cleveland, Ohio. After being diagnosed with lung cancer, Mr. Arpin brought a lawsuit against the railroad to recover damages for his injuries. The trial was held in February 2016, in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas in Ohio, and resulted in a verdict of $480,885 in damages for Mr. Arpin. The trial judge added $30,808 to that verdict for medical expenses that had not been submitted to the jury. The total verdict awarded was $511,693. The jury also found Mr. Arpin 70% contributorily negligent due to his past history of smoking cigarettes.

Mr. Arpin’s case was brought under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), which protects workers who are injured as a result of their employer’s negligence. The FELA imposes a duty on the railroad to provide its workers with a safe work environment; the railroad failed to do so in Mr. Arpin’s case, and in so many cases like it. We cannot change the past, but this case demonstrates that it is not too late to hold the railroad responsible for its past negligence, even if the worker was partly at fault for his injuries.

If you are a railroad worker who has been diagnosed with lung cancer, or any disease related to silica, asbestos, diesel exhaust or other hazards in the workplace, contact us to speak with an experienced attorney about your legal rights under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). In the meantime, you can also read about the FELA on our website, here, learn about the statute of limitations for the FELA,here, and request more information about the FELA, here.