Railroad worker is exposed to asbestos in railroad repair shops long after asbestos protection for workers is mandated.
100% to Union Pacific.
Not available under FELA.
Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood, PLC by Joe Satterley, Ryan Harris and Denise Abrams, Oakland.
Hawkins, Parnell, Thackston, and Young by Tracy Cowan.
Union Pacific Law Department by Michael Johnson.
William Salyer, M.D., pathology, Oakland.
Jerrold Abraham, M.D., pathology, Syracuse, NY.
Ronald Dodson, microscopy, Tyler, TX.
Barry Horn, M.D., pulmonology, Berkeley.
David Egilman, M.D., occupational medicine, Attleboro, MA.
Gregory Yang, M.D., oncology, Yuma, AZ. (Treating physician).
Larry Luikonen, Fred Boelter, and Morton Corn, industrial hygiene.
Brent Finley, toxicology.
Paul Endres, M.D., pathology.
Alan Legasto, M.D., radiology.
David Weill, M.D., pulmonology..
From 1971 to 1995, decedent Jeffrey Emerson worked as a boilermaker at the Southern Pacific Railroad (with which Union Pacific merged in 1997). Mr. Emerson was regularly exposed to asbestos at Southern Pacific’s Sacramento Locomotive Shops, both directly in his job and as a bystander to the work of other craftsmen.
In July 2013, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, malignant mesothelioma. For the next seven months, his treating doctors provided care and treatment. He died on January 24, 2014, just 10 days after he was deposed.
The case proceeded on the merits under the Federal Employers Liability Act, which governs claims for railroad-workplace injuries.
That Southern Pacific did not comply with the regulatory requirements regarding asbestos for at least 15 years. Instead it allowed workers to be exposed to asbestos without proper protection throughout the 1970s and much of the 1980s. That this exposure caused decedent's mesothelioma, pain, suffering and wrongful death.
Discovery revealed that Southern Pacific, for more than 20 years, had used many different types of asbestos products, including in its diesel locomotives and in piping around its facilities.
That Mr. Emerson died not from asbestos-caused mesothelioma but from lung cancer caused by cigarette smoking (which Mr. Emerson quit in the early 1980s).
Alternatively, Union Pacific argued that, if Mr. Emerson did have mesothelioma, it was caused not by asbestos exposure at Southern Pacific but by earlier exposures in the Navy.
Extensive suffering of decedent during his seven-month battle with mesothelioma; he was treated at the Mayo Clinic with both chemotherapy and 30 rounds of radiation. Post-death tissue analysis revealed extensive asbestos fibers in his lung tissue.