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Suit claims workplace exposure to chemicals led to husband's illness and death

By Molly English-Bowers | Feb 19, 2016

BELLEVILLE – The personal representative of the estate of a deceased railroad worker is suing over his death that was allegedly caused by his working conditions.

Donna Clark, widow and personal representative of the estate of Gary Clark, deceased, filed the suit Feb. 9 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Union Pacific Railroad Co., citing negligence.

For nearly 40 years, the suit states, the deceased worked for the defendant as an electrician. The plaintiff alleges he was exposed to toxic substances such as benzene, second-hand cigarette smoke, and diesel fuel and exhaust, which caused him, in whole or in part, to develop acute myelogenous leukemia. According to the suit, Gary Clark died on Aug. 20, 2014, as a result of complications from his illness.

The suit claims negligence on the part of the defendant that resulted in the illness and subsequent death of the plaintiff in violation of the Federal Employers Liability Act and the Locomotive Inspection Act, including failing to provide a safe workplace, failing to provide the plaintiff with equipment to protect him from the dangerous chemical exposure, failing to warn the plaintiff of the hazards of the chemicals to which he was exposed, and permitting unsafe work practices to become routine work practices.

Donna Clark alleges to have suffered great pecuniary loss as a result of her husband's illness and death and she seeks damages from the plaintiff as a result. She seeks an amount of more than $50,000 plus court costs. She is represented by William P. Gavin of the Gavin Law Firm in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 16-L-78

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