Railroad worker sues for $300k

By Steve Gonzalez | Nov 15, 2004

Railroad worker Larry O. Arnold sued his former employers for more than $300,000, claiming he contracted an asbestos-related disease while working around toxic substances.

Arnold claims his exposure occurred from 1969 to 2000 while working as a carman, welder and inspector for Norfolk and Union Pacific.

The Illinois resident filed a Federal Employers’ Liability Act lawsuit in Madison County Nov. 12 against Norfolk & Western Railway, Union Pacific Railroad and Southern Pacific Railroad. Arnold claims that as a result of his disease diagnosed July 24, he has suffered severe and permanent injuries, great pain, extreme nervousness and mental anguish.

According to the complaint, asbestos and asbestos fibers got into Arnold’s lungs while working with or around asbestos-containing products and while working with or around members of other trade unions. Arnold worked with pipe and block insulation, gaskets, packing, cements, brake shoes, and brake linings which contained asbestos.

Arnold claims he was unaware of the dangerous propensities of asbestos and was unaware of the cause of his latent abnormal medical condition.

Norfolk and Union Pacific failed to provide him with a reasonably safe place to work, failed to provide him with safe and suitable tools and equipment--including protective inhalation devices, failed to warn him of the true hazards of asbestos, and failed to exercise reasonable care in publishing a safety plan and method of handling and installing asbestos-related insulation and other products, according to the complaint.

The suit was also filed under the Locomotive Boiler Inspection Act and Safety Appliance Act.

Arnold is represented by Robert D. Rowland of Goldenberg, Miller, Heller, & Antognoli of Edwardsville.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge George Moran.

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