Welder suffered cancer, widow claims in FELA complaint

Steve Gonzalez Feb. 7, 2008, 10:49pm

The widow of a man who died from various cancers and diseases filed a wrongful death complaint against BNSF Railway in Madison County Circuit Court Feb. 6, alleging her husband was exposed to a variety of dangerous chemicals during his 20-year career as a welder.

Lisa Roling claims BNSF violated provisions on the Federal Employers' Liability Act by failing to provide her husband, Kenneth Roling, a safe place to work.

According to the complaint, Kenneth was a structural welder and maintenance man for BNSF from 1975 through 2005.

She claims that during that time, Kenneth was exposed to welding fumes, diesel and exhaust fumes, excessive dust, silica dust particles, chemical compounds and fumes, paints, solvents, cleaners, degreasers and industrial soaps.

Roling claims that due to husband's exposure to various chemicals, he sustained severe and permanent injuries including, cancer, brain cancer, headaches, lung disease, B-cell lymphoma and a central nervous system disorder all of which caused him to sustain pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement, loss of earnings and medical expenses.

According to Roling, BNSF was negligent in failing to furnish Kenneth with safe and suitable tools, failing to provide safe and adequate respirators, failing to properly ventilate his work areas and failing to implement and enforce work and safety rules to ensure that welders would not be exposed to welding fumes.

She also claims the railroad failed to warn her late husband of the true nature of the hazardous and harmful effects of exposures to welding fumes and other harmful dusts and chemicals, failed to reduce levels of welding and diesel fumes and failed to periodically test and monitor him for physical injures and diseases.

Represented by Paul Johnson of O'Fallon, Roling is seeking damages in excess of $100,000, plus costs.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian.

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BNSF Railway
2650 Lou Menk Dr
Fort Worth, TX 76131-2830

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