BNSF Railway sued over worker's asbestos exposure

By Kelly Holleran | Mar 27, 2012


The wife of a recently deceased railroad worker has filed suit against her husband's former employer, alleging it contributed to his death by exposing him to asbestos fibers throughout his employment.

Norina M. Ianno filed a lawsuit March 6 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against BNSF Railway Company.

In her complaint, Norina Ianno claims her husband, Anthony Ianno, developed asbestosis, lung cancer and another unspecified lung disease after he was exposed to asbestos fibers through his employment as a dock foreman and clerk from 1954 until 1986 for BNSF Railway Company. In addition to asbestos fibers, Anthony Ianno was exposed to diesel exhaust, tobacco smoke, silica and other toxic gases, which contributed to his disease, according to the complaint.

Because of Anthony Ianno's respiratory illness, he endured great pain, suffering, disability, disfigurement and mental anguish and lost his enjoyment of life, the suit states. He also incurred medical costs, the complaint says.

Anthony Ianno died on March 6, 2009, causing his wife to lose his financial support, she claims.

Norina Ianno blames BNSF for causing her husband's disease, saying the railroad negligently failed to provide Anthony Ianno with safe work, failed to provide him with equipment to protect him from asbestos fibers, exposed him to asbestos, failed to warn him of the hazards associated with asbestos and agreed to conceal the hazards of asbestos exposure.

In her two-count complaint, Ianno seeks a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs.

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

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-123

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