Two former Union Pacific Railroad Company workers have filed suit against their employer – one alleging he developed multiple forms of cancer after his work for it and another saying his work caused him to develop degeneration of his hands, wrists and elbows.

Dale Chapman claims he worked for the railroad from 1973 until 2008.

During the course of his work, Chapman was exposed to diesel exhaust and asbestos, causing him to develop lung cancer, according to the complaint filed Dec. 22 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

In addition, throughout Chapman's career, Union Pacific failed to provide him with a safe place to work, failed to provide him with adequate equipment, exposed him to diesel exhaust, failed to warn him of the hazards of diesel exhaust and permitted unsafe practices to become routine, the suit states.

As a result of Union Pacific's practices, Chapman alleges he developed bladder cancer, causing him to suffer great pain, disability, mental anguish and extreme nervousness and to incur substantial medical costs, the complaint says.

Ron Mentel claims he worked as an engineer in Union Pacific's transportation department from July of 1974 through June of 2009.

During the course of his work, Mentel was forced to work unsafely, causing him to develop degeneration of his hands, wrists and elbows and to endure carpal tunnel syndrome, according to his complaint filed Dec. 21 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Because of his injuries, Mentel suffered pain and disability, incurred medical costs, underwent surgery and lost his normal life, the suit states.

In his complaint, Chapman is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.

In his two-count complaint, Mentel is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs.

Both men will be represented by William P. Gavin of Gavin Law Firm in Belleville. In addition, Mentel will be represented by Paul W. Johnson of The Law Office of Paul W. Johnson in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-662, 10-L-664.

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