Understanding, Managing, and Living with the

Health Effects of Asbestos

$6.9M Awarded in Asbestos Mesothelioma Lawsuit

February 24, 2016

Santa Clara, CA: A retired boilermaker who sued his former employer, Southern Pacific Railroad and who died of asbestos mesothelioma in 2014, won his case, with $6,951,265 in damages being awarded to Union Pacific, which merged with Southern Pacific in 1997.

The suit alleged Emerson was exposed to asbestos regularly, both directly in his job and as a bystander to the work of other craftsmen, during the course of his work at Southern Pacific' Sacramento Locomotive Shops.

He was diagnosed with terminal cancer, malignant asbestos mesothelioma, in 2013, just 10 days after being deposed.

The suit claimed that instead of complying with the regulatory requirements regarding asbestos, for at least 15 years Southern Pacific allowed its workers to be exposed to asbestos without proper protection, throughout the 1970s and much of the 1980s. It was as a result of that exposure that the plaintiff developed mesothelioma, and the consequent pain, suffering and wrongful death.

During the case it came to light that Southern Pacific had used many different types of asbestos products, including in its diesel locomotives and in piping around its facilities, for over 20 years.

The case is: Karen Emerson v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, Alameda County Superior Court / RG13698637.

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