A former St. Clair County railroad employee says he developed throat cancer from inhaling toxic fumes during nearly four decades on the job.

Timothy Zastava filed a lawsuit July 19 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Union Pacific Railroad Company.

Zastava says he worked for Union Pacific Railroad from 1972 through 2010 and during that time claims he was exposed to second-hand cigarette smoke, diesel exhaust and asbestos. Zastava alleges that long-term exposure led to his diagnosis of esophageal cancer.

Zastava accuses the railroad company of negligence for failing to provide a safe work environment. He contends Union Pacific violated the Federal Employers Liability Act and asks for more than $50,000 in damages for medical expenses and court costs. Attorney William P. Gavin, of Belleville, represents Zastava.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 13-L-374

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