Until a relatively recent time, asbestos and similar products were not known to be harmful to those that worked or lived with or near them. Therefore, there are a great many people in Illinois and throughout the country that are dealing with the effects of long-term exposure to asbestos. For many of the sick or injured, there is little their employer could have done to protect them, with the knowledge they had at the time. But does that mean that their employer should not be held responsible for the effects of asbestos exposure on their employees?
A Wisconsin woman does not think so. While working as a fireman for the Illinois Central Railroad from 1948 until 1951, her husband was routinely exposed to asbestos, toxic dusts, welding fumes, environmental tobacco smoke, diesel exhaust, and other gases and fumes. As a result, he developed lung cancer and suffered for many years. He succumbed to the disease in April of 2008.
After her husband’s death, his widow filed a lawsuit against his former employer, Illinois Central Railroad, alleging that the company is responsible for her husband’s injuries and death. Specifically, she claims that the railroad company negligently failed to provide him with a safe place to work and with safe equipment, that it exposed him to asbestos, and that it failed to warn him of asbestos exposure.
As a result of the company’s negligence, she claims, her husband experienced disability, physical pain and mental anguish, and incurred significant medical costs. She is seeking a judgment of $200,000 from the company.
Source: The Record, “Widow blames lung cancer on asbestos exposure in suit against Illinois Central,” Kelly Holleran, 21 June 2011