WWII-era railroad worker sues Illinois Central

By Steve Gonzalez | Feb 23, 2005

William Applegate

Jeffrey Thompson

A man who worked with Illinois Central Railroad in the 1940s is suing the company in St. Clair County Circuit Court, alleging exposure to asbestos and other "toxic" elements has made him sick.

Jack Everett Beebe filed the lawsuit Feb. 18. He worked as a pipefitter and sheet metal worker for the Illinois Central in Centralia from 1941 to 1953 but claims he only recently became aware of his injuries.

Beebe, who is seeking "more than $100,000" in damages, is represented by William Gavin of the Gavin Law Firm of Belleville and William Applegate and Jeffrey Thompson of South Carolina-based Motley Rice.

Purchased by Canadian National in 1999, the Illinois Central still operates under its own name.

Beebe is accusing the company of failing to provide him with a reasonably safe place to work, failing to provide him with suitable tools and equipment including adequate protective masks, and failing to warn him of the true nature and hazardous effects of the asbestos-related materials, silica, and diesel an other toxic fumes.

Asbestos was banned for use in the U.S. by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1989.

According to the complaint, the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) requires that Illinois Central compensate Beebe.

05 L 95 (20th Circuit)

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