Federal Law is Frequently Cited in Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Malignant mesothelioma is a risk for anybody who has been exposed to asbestos. The deadly mineral was frequently used in the fabrication of buildings, equipment, and infrastructure, and though manufacturers — and some employers — were aware of the dangers that it posed to workers, few took action to protect or even warn of the health hazards it posed. Though most employees are unable to seek justice beyond workers compensation from their employers, that is not the case for railroad workers, who are protected by the Federal Employers’ Liability Act, or FELA.

Mesothelioma Victim Points to FELA Mandate for Workplace Safety

A mesothelioma lawsuit being heard in the United States District Court in Maine makes clear how federal employees can use FELA to seek compensation from their employer. FELA requires federal agencies to provide a reasonably safe workplace. Victor Coffin was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma after years of operating the Carlton Bridge for the Maine Central Railroad. He filed a lawsuit against them under FELA, pointing to the asbestos dust that contaminated his workplace and accusing them of multiple failures in fulfilling their obligation.

In Mr. Coffin’s mesothelioma lawsuit, he argued that despite the foreseeability of the bridge having been constructed using asbestos, the railroad had never tested his worksite on the bridge. They also never warned him that asbestos was dangerous or provided him with appropriate safety equipment or clothing.

Judges Side with Mesothelioma Victim Regarding Foreseeability of Asbestos in Bridge

Maine Central Railroad filed a motion to dismiss the mesothelioma lawsuit, arguing that they had no reason to suspect that the bridge operations office would be contaminated by asbestos, but the court rejected their argument. Pointing out that the Carlton Bridge had been built in 1929, they reasoned that it was foreseeable that asbestos would have been used in its construction and that asbestos dust would be created by vibrations caused by trains crossing the bridge.  The case will move to a jury for consideration.

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Paul Danziger

Paul Danziger


Paul Danziger grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. For over 25 years years he has focused on representing mesothelioma cancer victims and others hurt by asbestos exposure. Paul and his law firm have represented thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, recovering significant compensation for injured clients. Every client is extremely important to Paul and he will take every call from clients who want to speak with him. Paul and his law firm handle mesothelioma cases throughout the United States.

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