September 30, 2016 — A jury in Illinois has awarded $7.5 million to a railroad worker with cancer he says was caused by years of unprotected exposure to toxic chemicals on the job.
The lawsuit was filed in 2010 by James Brown, a man who worked for Chicago & North Western Railway (CNW) for 18 years, and another 13 years for Union Pacific Railroad Co., according to the Madison-St. Clair Record.
His lawyers say he was given no protective equipment until Union Pacific took over CNW in the mid-1990s.
Brown was responsible for picking up railroad ties and dropping them off. In some cases, he installed ties that were “soaking wet” with creosote. When he washed off the ties and equipment, he was left covered “head to foot” in creosote. He says the chemicals soaked into his skin through his wet clothes.
In addition to creosote, Brown says he was also exposed to degreasing solvents, lead, and other toxic chemicals. Lawyers say he was first diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) before it progressed to Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in 2008.
He has a wide range of health problems, including bad eyes, legs and feet, weight-gain from his medication, impotence, and memory loss.
The lawsuit was filed in Madison County Circuit Court in Illinois on December 2, 2010 — In Re: James Brown v. Union Pacific Railroad Co. — Case No. Case No. 10-L-1213.
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