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Railroad Worker’s Asbestos Lawsuit Allowed to Proceed

When a person is diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma or any other of the asbestos-related diseases, the first question they are asked is where they were exposed to asbestos, the carcinogenic material that has proven to be the cause of their disease. Though some are uncertain and have to do some detective work to figure out where they were exposed, others have no doubt at all. Such is the case with ex-railroad worker Kevin E. Howell, who worked for the Consolidated Rail Corporation for many years. Despite his clear memory of extensive exposure to asbestos while on the job, Mr. Howell is still finding himself having to fight with his ex-employer for his rights, as the company is attempting to avoid legal responsibility by pointing to the fact that Howell was a cigarette smoker. The courts have recently reviewed this case and are allowing Mr. Howell to proceed.

The case was heard by the Court of Appeals of Ohio, which was presented with evidence that Mr. Howell was employed by the railroad company from 1975 to 2013, and that during that time he repaired and maintained railroad signals and signal houses that were heavily contaminated with asbestos. They were also told that in addition to 38 years of this work, he was a heavy smoker for 45 years. When Mr. Howell was diagnosed with lung cancer and lung disease in 2015 he filed suit against his former employer, claiming that his illness was result of exposure to asbestos during his years of employment. The railroad countered with a motion to dismiss, saying that he had not provided sufficient evidence of his illness and that smokers required additional evidence to prove the cause of their illness.

The court decided in Mr. Howell’s favor, permitting the case to proceed in court and ordering Consolidated Rail Corporation to pay for his legal fees and court costs associated with their motion to dismiss and appeal. Their decision was based on numerous factors, including the evidentiary laws and the evidence provided by both Howell’s physicians. They also paid careful attention to testimony that he and several of his former colleagues provided about the extent of the asbestos exposure they had all sustained during their years of working for the company. It is expected that the case will proceed now to court, unless the company decides to settle with the sick man.

Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases turn people’s lives upside down. They often don’t know where to turn, and have to rely on other people to help them get what they need and what they’re owed. The Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net are here to make sure you know who to call and where to go to ensure that you are well cared for. Call us today at  1-800-692-8608.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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