Former Railroad Worker Names Multiple Companies in Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Anthony Ditcharo sued several of his former employers after being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in August of 2022. Though he died in January 2023, his family is continuing his pursuit of justice, converting his personal injury claim to survival and wrongful death claims.

Union Pacific

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Includes Union Pacific and Avondale as Defendants

The claim originally filed by Mr. Ditcharo on November 30, 2022, named multiple defendants, and he blamed his mesothelioma on exposure to asbestos that occurred at several worksites throughout Louisiana. He claimed that his employers knew, or should have known, that their use of asbestos would injure him based on studies and other information available at the time. He also filed a claim under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act against Union Pacific because his work for them fell under the auspices of interstate commerce.

In response to the family’s mesothelioma claims, four of the defending companies denied the allegations against them, while Union Pacific and Avondale fought against the family’s request to move the case from federal court back to the Orleans Parish Civil District Court where he had originally filed his claim. The family argued that the case having been removed to federal court was improper.

Judge Determines that Mesothelioma Claim Should Remain in Federal Court

In reviewing the arguments from both the mesothelioma victim’s family and the asbestos companies named in the claim, Judge Eldon E. Fallon applied Fifth Circuit precedent. He determined that because Avondale had met its burden of proof in demonstrating that it had a federal contract with the government to repair Navy ships, their argument that the case should remain in federal court should prevail and that the other cases should remain there too because the family’s state law claims don’t “substantially predominate” the charges against Avondale.

Still, the judge stressed that his ruling in the case did not mean that the family’s rights to file a FELA claim against Union Pacific in state court under different circumstances had been eliminated, thus potentially allowing the family to pursue their claims against the railroad.

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Paul Danziger

Paul Danziger

Reviewer and Editor

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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