There are many dangers on the job for railroad workers in California. However, some are easier to see than others. One such danger that has not really been given the attention it requires is diesel fume exposure. According to the American Cancer Society, exposure to diesel exhaust fumes may cause lung cancer. For a railroad worker, this is a serious concern because of long-term, excessive exposure to exhaust fumes. In fact, railroad workers are among some of the most exposed workers.
Earlier in the year, two separate plaintiffs sued BNSF Railroad Co. in Montana for injuries that took place outside of the state. Neither of the plaintiffs lived in Montana, and BNSF is based in Texas. The Montana Supreme Court had ruled that the lawsuit was allowable in the state regardless, citing both the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) and state law in Montana. But the U.S. Supreme Court disagreed, voting 8-1 to reverse the lower court's ruling.
If you are a railroad worker in California, you have rights under the Federal Employers' Liability Act. FELA, according to the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, was designed to reduce the number of accidents involving railroad workers. It was enacted when it was apparent the railroad was not doing enough to protect its workers and the federal government decided to step in.
If you suffer an injury at work in California that is covered under the Federal Employers' Liability Act, you must file a claim using the proper forms and within the time limit to qualify for coverage. It is up to you to understand your rights and know what to do to file a claim. The Department of Labor states you must use Form CA-1 or CA-2 to file your initial FELA claim.
If you work for a railroad company in California, then you have probably heard of the Federal Employers' Liability Act. As defined by the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, the FELA provides you with protection if you are injured because of negligence on the part of your employer. To get benefits, though, you must prove in court that your employer was at fault and their actions or lack of action led to your accident.