20 FELA suits claim asbestosis, silicosis

By Steve Gonzalez | Dec 28, 2005

Twenty asbestos cases were filed against Illinois Central Railroad in St. Clair County Circuit Court Dec. 22 by former workers who claim they have various asbestos-related illnesses.

The plaintiffs, represented by Daniel Francis of the Francis Law Firm in St. Louis, are all seeking damages under the Federal Employers' Liability Act. They claim they developed asbestosis or silicosis while employed in interstate commerce for the railroad.

According to the complaints, their injuries were caused by Illinois Central Railroad failing to:

  • Use ordinary care to provide them with a reasonably safe place to work;

  • Supply safe methods for work;

  • Supply reasonably safe equipment;

  • Supply reasonably sufficient help;

  • Exercise reasonable care to adequately warn them of the risks, dangers, and harm to which they were exposes in working with and around asbestos;

  • Require them to be exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos when they knew of the risks;

  • Warn them of the risk of asbestos exposure injuries; and

  • Modify or eliminate certain job duties, equipment or practices to minimize the levels of asbestos.

    The plaintiffs claim that in the past and for an indefinite period of time in the future they experience pain, suffering, inconvenience, irritation and annoyance, and have become liable for medical expenses, treatment, and possible cure. They also claim lost wages, and the loss of general health, strength, vitality and ability to enjoy the various pleasures of life.

    "The plaintiffs demand judgments in their favor and against ICR in a fair and reasonable amount in excess of the jurisdictional minimum of this court," the complaints state.

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