A former Union Pacific Railroad Company employee has filed suit against the company, saying his exposure to toxins during the course of his employment led to his pancreatic cancer.

Brad Thompson alleges he worked for Union Pacific as a brakeman and conductor from 1984 until July 2009.

"During the course of his employment with defendant, plaintiff was exposed to toxic substances, including but not limited to second-hand cigarette smoke, diesel exhaust and/or asbestos that caused, in whole or in part, him to develop the illness, pancreatic cancer," the suit states.

Because of his cancer, Thompson suffered great pain and disability, mental anguish and extreme nervousness and has lost large amounts of income because of his disability, the complaint says.

He blames Union Pacific for failing to provide a safe place to work, for failing to provide safe equipment, for exposing Thompson to second-hand smoke, diesel exhaust and asbestos, for failing to warn Thompson about the dangers of the toxins and for permitting unsafe work practices to become routine.

In the two-count suit, Thompson is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs.

He will be represented by William P. Gavin of Gavin Law Firm in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-465.

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