Many different substances used on the railroad can contribute to the cause of many different kinds of Leukemia. The railroads have been aware that many of these substances can cause many different types of cancer for many decades. Now, however, workers are also becoming aware of these hazards. Railroad exposures to asbestos, diesel exhaust, benzene, solvents, chemical weed sprays, and even second-hand cigarette smoke can cause or contribute to various kinds of Leukemia. These Leukemias include Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) as well as other types of Leukemia and certain pre-leukemias like Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS). If you have been diagnosed with any type of Leukemia, after working anywhere in the railroad industry, it is a good idea to consult a railroad cancer lawyer to learn about legal options to protect yourself and your family. A skilled attorney who understands Ohio railroad leukemia lawsuits could evaluate your case and fight for you to obtain the full amount of compensation to which you may be entitled for your disease.
What is Leukemia?
Leukemia comes in many forms. It is essentially a type of cancer that affects the blood. Leukemia generally starts in the bone marrow and then affects different types of blood cells depending on the type of Leukemia. Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), for example, most commonly starts in the bone marrow and then develops in cells that would turn into white blood cells. For more information on the development of Leukemia, including AML, visit the American Cancer Society’s website.
Can Benzene on the Railroad Cause Leukemia?
The most common chemical exposure found on the railroad that can cause Leukemia is benzene. Benzene has been an ingredient in different solvents used by railroads and is also a component of diesel exhaust. Benzene can also be found in cigarette smoke, including second-hand cigarette smoke. Despite being classified as a known carcinogen by the American Cancer Society, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the World Health Organization, it is still widely used in the United States.
Most railroaders come into contact with benzene through diesel fuel exhaust. As a result, railroad machinists, engineers, conductors, electricians, and laborers are commonly exposed to benzene in their day-to-day work. Studies have shown that as little as five years of benzene exposure significantly increases a person’s chances of developing AML. In addition, studies have also shown a connection between asbestos exposure and AML.
Claims Under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA)
The Federal Employers Liability Act or FELA allows railroad workers in any state to seek compensation for injuries or diseases that have suffered because of their work on the railroad. Railroad workers do not get state workers’ compensation benefits. FELA claims are handled differently than workers’ compensation claims.
While workers’ compensation claims can be easier to prove, the damages recoverable under state workers’ compensation plans are limited. Injured railroad workers have the potential to receive substantially more compensation through a FELA claim. However, an injured worker filing a claim under FELA must show that the railroad was negligent by not providing them with a reasonably safe workplace. They must also show that the negligence caused the injury or disease at issue.
A railroad Leukemia lawyer could help establish this showing of negligence so that workers suffering from Leukemia can obtain fair compensation. Under the FELA, claims must be prepared and filed within three years “from the day the cause of action accrued.” See 45 U.S.C. §56. What this means is that railroad workers suffering from Leukemia have three years from the time they knew or should have known that they developed the disease AND that the Leukemia was caused by railroad work conditions. Because of this complex legal standard, only an experienced FELA attorney can determine when a Leukemia claim is timely filed. Therefore, if there is any question at all regarding when a claim must be filed, you should contact a knowledgeable FELA attorney.
Let an Ohio Railroad Injury Attorney Help Today
The prognosis for those diagnosed with any Leukemia varies a great deal depending on the type of Leukemia, the stage in which it was diagnosed, and individual factors that are specific to each person. In many cases, remission can be achieved even if a complete cure cannot.
A railroad injury lawyer could help you obtain money to cover medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, both now and in the future. Money may not restore lost health, but it can provide for your future needs and those of your family. If your railroad employer was negligent in exposing you to dangerous chemicals, including asbestos, diesel exhaust, benzene, and other carcinogens on the job, it is only fair to hold them accountable. Call now to learn more about Ohio railroad Leukemia lawsuits, and a lawyer can help you.