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Railroad Tries to Deny Justice to Worker Stricken with Mesothelioma

Railroad Tries to Deny Justice to Worker Stricken with Mesothelioma

Published on November 23, 2021

In 2020, retired railroad worker Denis R. Bouck was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. When he filed suit against his former employer, the railroad argued that the Locomotive Inspection Act protected them from being sued. But a Louisiana federal judge denied their argument, saying that their position would “completely remove(s) a railroad worker’s ability to recover for asbestos exposure.”

Kansas City Southern Reports Record 2Q Revenue | Transport Topics

Railroad Would Completely Deny Justice to Mesothelioma Victim

When Mr. Bouck filed his mesothelioma lawsuit against Kansas City Southern, he also named the manufacturers whose asbestos-contaminated equipment parts he was exposed to during his four decades of working in the railroad yard. The parts manufacturers, Electro-Motive Diesel, Wabtec Transportation Systems LLC, and Comet Industries, Inc., successfully had the charges against them dismissed based on the Locomotive Inspection Act, which says that only the Federal Railroad Administration can regulate locomotive equipment design. 

When the parts manufacturers were dismissed the suit, the railroad then adopted their legal argument, saying that they could not be held responsible for Bouck’s mesothelioma for using the same parts that the manufacturers had been asked to build. Their argument was based on railroad regulation uniformity, and had they been successful it would have left Mr. Bouck with nowhere to turn in his quest for justice. 

Judge Rules in Favor of Mesothelioma Victim and Against Railroad

In handing down her decision on the railroad’s motion to dismiss, U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Erny Foote said that the law the railroad was relying on does not “eliminate the employer’s duty to ensure a reasonably safe workplace.”  She ruled that the company had tried to say that “its employees should have no recourse because neither the employer not the manufacturer can be held liable for the alleged asbestos exposure. This court disagrees.” Mr. Bouck will be able to continue his case against Kansas City Southern.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease, you need an experienced and aggressive advocate working on your behalf. For information on how the Patient Advocates at can help, contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.

Written by Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer
Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

Learn more about and contact Terri

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