A former Illinois Central Railroad Company worker claims he was exposed to asbestos throughout his eight years of work for the railroad.

Marco A. Rodriguez Sr. filed a lawsuit Sept. 28 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Illinois Central Railroad Company.

Rodriguez claims he worked as a carman and welder carman for Illinois Central from 1958 until 1966.

According to his complaint, Rodriguez was required to work around asbestos, diesel exhaust, environmental tobacco smoke, toxic dusts, gases and fumes that caused him to develop a respiratory illness.

Because of the lung damage he incurred, Rodriguez suffered great pain, disability, mental anguish and extreme nervousness because of the possibility that he may develop cancer and incurred substantial medical expenses, the suit states.

Illinois Central violated the Federal Employers Liability Act by failing to provide Rodriguez with a safe place to work, by failing to provide Rodriguez with safe equipment, by failing to warn Rodriguez of the hazardous nature of silicon and by failing to provide Rodriguez with safe and proper ventilation, the complaint says.

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

William P. Gavin of Gavin Law Firm in Belleville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-513.

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