Many railroad jobs require working with solvents and other dangerous chemicals. Many of these substances are linked to the development of certain cancers, including leukemia. If you were diagnosed with leukemia and have ever worked for a railroad, it is possible that workplace exposure contributed to your cancer. If so, you could seek damages from the railroad that caused your workplace exposure. Speak with a Texas railroad leukemia lawyer to investigate your legal options. If your employer’s negligence contributed to your cancer, you could hold them liable for your damages.
Widely-Used Solvents Are Carcinogens
Railroad workers use solvents to clean and lubricate machinery and equipment. Products labeled degreasers, brake cleaners, strippers, and carburetor cleaners are solvents, and many solvents in use on railroads are petroleum distillates containing benzene, a known carcinogen.
Workers likely suffered dangerous exposure if their jobs required them to work with or near benzene solvents. Benzene could enter the body through inhalation of fumes, but it also can be absorbed through the skin. If someone got solvent on their hands and then touched their face, food, or drinking glass, they might ingest the benzene.
Benzene is unsafe and causes damage at any exposure level. Extended exposure can damage to the blood cells or bone marrow, which might cause leukemia. Railroad machinists, track workers, and carmen often work with solvents daily and could be at risk of developing leukemia. A Texas attorney could investigate whether a railroad negligently exposed its workers to these dangerous chemicals leading to a leukemia diagnosis.
Connection Between Leukemia and Railroad Employment
Leukemia is a family of cancers that affect blood cells. Some leukemias respond well to medical treatment, but others do not. There are many forms of leukemia, but several are closely associated with railroad workers.
- Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is a cancer that begins in the bone marrow and interferes with blood cell production.
- Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) begins in the marrow but affects the lymph nodes and immune system as well.
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) also affects the bone marrow and lymph nodes but progresses more slowly than ALL.
- Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) is a disease that prevents immature blood cells from maturing.
These diseases are debilitating cancers that can shorten a person’s expected lifespan and erode their quality of life. If workplace exposure contributed to a railroad worker developing leukemia, a Texas attorney could hold the employer liable for that workers’ economic losses.
Railroads Responsible for Compensating Injured Workers Who’ve Developed Leukemia
The Federal Employee Liability Act (FELA) allows railroad workers who suffer work-related injuries to sue their employer for their medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain, emotional suffering, disability, and disfigurement. The employee is entitled to compensation for their damages to date and any disease-related losses they expect to incur in the future.
A railroad worker’s attorney seeking damages for leukemia must show that the worker was exposed to a substance that is known to cause leukemia. They then must prove the employer was negligent in not protecting the employee from exposure. However, an attorney does not need to prove that the workplace exposure was the sole or primary cause of the worker’s disease.
Workers have three years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit seeking damages under FELA. Sometimes a worker does not receive a leukemia diagnosis until years after they left their railroad employment. In such cases, the three-year period usually begins on the date of diagnosis, or when the person knows or should know that the diagnosis is work-related.
Rely on a Railroad Leukemia Lawyer in Texas to Pursue Damages on Your Behalf
If you once worked for a railroad and you now have leukemia, the two facts could be related. Exposure to chemical solvents at work might have caused your diagnosis, especially if you worked with these chemicals almost daily.
Railroads have a legal obligation to provide a safe working environment, yet they exposed their employees to known carcinogens for decades. Seek justice and financial recovery by working with a Texas railroad leukemia lawyer. Contact us today.