NC Railroad Workers Wins $7.5 Million FELA Verdict from CSX

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The Scotland County jury found CSX Transportation liable for retired railroad worker Raymond Williams' asbestos cancer -- mesothelioma. Williams worked for CSX for nearly 40 years. The jury rejected CSX's denial of responsibility and held CSX accountable for Williams' mesothelioma.

Laurinburg, NC A Scotland County, North Carolina jury returned a $7.5 million dollar verdict for a retired CSX Railroad worker suffering with the deadly asbestos cancer, mesothelioma. Raymond Williams, 60, retired from CSX in 1999 after working for the railroad 38 years. In 2002, he was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is an almost always fatal cancer whose only known cause in the United States is asbestos exposure. Williams was regularly exposed to asbestos on boilers, pipes and construction materials used by the railroad during his career with CSX.

Railroad workers do not receive workers? compensation, and in order to recover for injuries they must file a lawsuit against their railroad employer under the Federal Employee?s Liability Act (FELA) and prove that the railroad?s negligence caused their injuries.

The jury in Raymond W. Williams vs. CSX Transportation, Inc. determined that CSX was aware of the dangers of asbestos dust beginning in the 1930s and further was aware of precautions that could be taken to protect railroad workers from asbestos dust, but CSX chose not to protect or warn their employees for nearly 40 years -- until sometime in the late 1980s. The jury further found that the railroad knew asbestos could cause lung cancer in the late 1950s and mesothelioma in the early 1960s, but again chose not to take any measures to protect its employees or warn them about asbestos. CSX continued to use asbestos containing products until the late 1980s.

Two years into his retirement, Williams was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma and underwent a radical surgery to remove his entire left lung. Due to complications from the surgery, Williams required a second surgery to remove his stomach which had migrated into his chest cavity. He has undergone three separate courses of chemotherapy, but the cancer has metastasized into his lymph nodes. Williams continues to fight his cancer.

Experts acknowledge that more than 94 percent of malignant pleural mesotheliomas in men are caused by occupational asbestos exposure. CSX denied that Williams was exposed to asbestos during his employment with CSX and also denied that his mesothelioma was caused by asbestos exposure. Rejecting CSX?s denial of responsibility, the jury found CSX negligent and liable for Williams? mesothelioma.

Forest Horne and Spencer Parris of the North Carolina law firm Martin & Jones represented Williams in his lawsuit against CSX Transportation.

Forest Horne or Spencer Parris
Martin & Jones
410 Glenwood Ave., Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27603

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