Benzene, Hartman, Illinois Central Railroad, lung and colon cancer is about a railroad worker that alleges his lung and colon cancer was related to his exposure to toxic substances and carcinogens – benzene, and other volatile compounds.
A brief summary of the Benzene, Hartman, Illinois Central Railroad, lung and colon cancer case follows:
Plaintiff Albert Hartman worked for Defendant Illinois Central Railroad Co. from 1960 to 1996. In his Complaint, he alleges:
- that his lung and colon cancers were caused by his workplace exposure to various toxic substances, including coal dust, coal soot, coal smoke, diesel fuel, diesel exhaust, diesel fumes, diesel smoke, diesel exhaust soot, benzene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, creosote, pesticides, herbicides, silica sand, and asbestos. Plaintiff brings a claim for negligence under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (“FELA”).
- In the instant Motion, Defendant seeks dismissal of Plaintiff’s claim in light of a settlement and release that he executed in connection with a prior personal injury claim. In 1995, Plaintiff settled a claim with Defendant after he sustained an injury to his middle finger. In connection with the settlement, Plaintiff executed a “Final Settlement, Release, and Resignation” (“the Release”). The Release stated, in relevant part:
- Hartman does hereby fully, completely and forever release, discharge and acquit Illinois Central Railroad Company, . . . from any and all claims, losses, damages, injuries or diseases directly or indirectly caused by or resulting from any alleged exposure to fumes, diesel fumes, fuel fumes, paint vapors, methyl bromide, ammonia gas, lead, PCB, dioxins or other toxic or noxious chemical exposure and all other fumes, dusts, mists, gases and vapors from any chemical or agent.
- Plaintiff signed the Release, acknowledging that he fully understood it. He was also represented by counsel in the negotiation and execution of the Release, and his attorney certified that she had explained the Release to him. Defendant argues, therefore, that the Release bars Plaintiff’s current claim against Defendant. In his deposition, Plaintiff testified that his lawyer did not explain the agreement to him, that he did not read it, and that he believed he was only releasing Defendant from liability for the injury to his finger. The Court will address the parties’ arguments in turn.
The Court ordered as follows:
- For the foregoing reasons, the Motion is DENIED.
For more on the Benzene, Hartman, Illinois Central Railroad, lung and colon cancer case in the United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana, please follow this link: Benzene, Hartman, Illinois Central Railroad, lung and colon cancer
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