Railroad Leukemia
AML, MDS and Multiple Myeloma

Why are railroad workers at elevated risk for leukemia? Because railroad workers who have endured years of exposures to diesel exhaust, solvents, fuels, paints, thinners and degreasers were exposed to a known carcinogen called benzene. These railroad benzene exposures cause leukemia.

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    Many of these types of products were regularly used by railroad machinists, pipe fitters, electricians, laborers, and car shop employees.  As a result of their benzene exposures, far too many railroad shop employees are diagnosed with blood and bone marrow diseases such as Acute Myeloid LeukemiaMyelodysplastic Syndrome and Multiple Myeloma.

    Benzene is often used in the manufacturing of pesticides, detergents, lubricants, paints and dyes. Some common products that once contained benzene include Liquid Wrench, Gumout, Champion Brake Cleaner, Ortho Weed-B-Gone and SafetyKleen. Occupations exposed to benzene include railroad workers, mechanics, oilfield workers, rubber workers, printers, shoe makers and steel workers.

    Experts agree that there is no safe level of benzene exposure. Benzene causes leukemia and other blood and bone marrow disorders. A few of the illnesses associated with benzene exposure include:


    Leading toxic tort and railroad cancer lawyers across the country have successfully prosecuted claims based on blood and bone marrow disorders.  Here is a sampling of railroad leukemia and benzene products liability settlements and verdicts:

    • In 2014, a railroad trackman battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma received a $950,000 settlement from a railroad defendant. The plaintiff contended that his occupational exposure to diesel exhaustcreosote, calcium chloride, herbicides and pesticides caused his cancer. The plaintiff was 38 years old at the time of his diagnosis.
    • In 2016, a man who used benzene-containing printing solvent as a vocational high school student and then in the workforce from 1972 to 1975, was awarded $824,000 in damages after he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). The case was brought against the manufacturer of the benzene-containing printing solvent. It was shown during the trial that the manufacturer of the solvent, U.S. Steel, was on notice that benzene could be cancer-causing and yet it continued to use benzene in its solvents.
    • In 2011, the estate of a gasoline tanker truck driver who died at the age of 58 after being diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) received a verdict of $7.5 million. The plaintiff in that case had specific chromosomal damage tied to benzene exposure. The tanker truck driver loaded gasoline for retail outfits one to seven times per day. Gasoline, like diesel, contains benzene.
    • In 2008, an over-the-road truck driver who had been diagnosed with acute monomyelogenous leukemia received a confidential settlement from his employer because his treating oncologist and a retained toxicologist attributed his cancer to benzene in the diesel exhaust that he was exposed to at work.

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    Hughes Law Offices is providing case histories to inform visitors about actual case fact patterns and rulings in your area. Unless specifically noted, the cases summarized herein were not handled by attorneys at Hughes Law Offices.

    If you suspect that your leukemia is related to toxic workplace exposures, including to diesel exhaust, mineral spirits, solvents or paint thinners, call Hughes Law Offices today. Even if your specific illness is not listed here, you may still have a case. Learn more today by calling 312-877-5588. All attorney consultations are free.

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    Survey of Railroad Cancer Claims

    Hughes Law Offices is providing case histories to inform visitors about actual case fact patterns and rulings.
    Unless specifically noted, the cases summarized herein were not handled by attorneys at Hughes Law Offices.
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    Railroad carman died of pulmonary fibrosis following 18 years of welding.



    Locomotive engineer in his early 60’s developed diesel asthma.



    Railroad mechanic diagnosed with squamous cell oropharyngeal cancer.



    Trainman died of nasopharyngeal cancer as a result of working on-board locomotives filled with diesel exhaust.



    Retired railroad employee died of lung cancer as a result of workplace asbestos exposure.



    61 year old railroad conductor diagnosed with interstitial fibrosis and an increased risk of lung cancer as a result of exposure to diesel exhaust.

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