In recent years, railroad workers and people who live near railyards have been developing illnesses linked to exposure to toxins. Railroads use many toxic and carcinogenic substances to keep trains moving and tracks clear. Unfortunately, employees and local residents often have significant exposure to these toxins.

A Houston railroad exposure lawyer could help you if you developed an illness after exposure to toxins near a railyard. With the help of a skilled legal professional, you could hold the responsible parties liable for your losses.

Linking Severe Illness to Railroad Chemicals in Houston

Railroad operations require using powerful solvents to keep machinery clean and working correctly. Likewise, track maintenance requires chemical treatments to keep wooden ties from rotting and vegetation at bay. Unfortunately, many of these substances can negatively impact the health of people exposed to them. For example:

  • Asbestos causes mesothelioma and is linked to colon cancer
  • Benzene is a known carcinogen associated with leukemia
  • Creosote is a probable carcinogen and is linked to eye irritation and respiratory difficulties
  • Diesel fumes cause leukemia and other cancers
  • Lead causes brain damage, nerve damage, reproductive problems, and congenital disabilities
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) can lead to cancers of the bladder, gastrointestinal system, and lung after long-term low-level exposure

Sadly, railroads have a poor record for safely handling dangerous chemicals. As a result, several communities near railyards have experienced soil and groundwater contamination from these toxins. Anyone who has worked at a railyard or lived near one and has developed cancer or another disease linked to toxic exposure should seek help from a compassionate local attorney.

Railroad Workers Could Seek Damages Under FELA

Railroad workers can pursue compensation for job-related injuries under the Federal Employee Liability Act (FELA). An employee seeking these damages must prove that the railroad negligently exposed them to a toxin and the exposure was at least a partial cause of their disease.

Railroads must inform employees of any toxic chemicals in their workplace and provide them with adequate protective equipment. An injured worker could prove that the railroad was negligent if it failed to provide timely warning of exposure or did not provide a safe work environment.

A worker’s conduct could affect their damages. However, in most cases, the railroad is strictly liable for the worker’s injuries. A knowledgeable lawyer in Houston could explain whether comparative negligence or strict liability might apply in a specific case and create a strong case on behalf of a sick claimant.

Claimants May Seek Damages for Community Exposure

Railroads’ careless handling of dangerous chemicals and other substances has caused communities in Houston to suffer from contamination of land and groundwater. Several community members developed diseases associated with exposure to toxins commonly used by railyards.

Anyone who suffers from an illness or experiences property damage because a railroad mishandled toxic chemicals could bring a lawsuit seeking restitution. The plaintiffs in such cases must prove that the railroad’s procedures were negligent, leading to the release of dangerous substances into the community.

According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §41.003, a claimant can seek exemplary damages if a defendant’s conduct was fraudulent, malicious, or grossly negligent. However, a plaintiff must offer convincing proof of the defendant’s egregious actions. An experienced lawyer could help a sick victim determine if sufficient evidence exists to claim exemplary damages in a railroad exposure case.

Rely on an Attorney to Press Your Railroad Exposure Claim in Houston

Whether you work for a railroad or next to one, if you are suffering from a disease from chemical exposure, the responsible railroad should pay for the harm it did to you and your family.

A Houston railroad exposure lawyer could prepare a powerful case proving the railroad’s negligence had a role in your physical suffering. Reach out to Roberts Markland LLP to speak with a seasoned attorney today.