The Timken Company, a major railway component manufacturer based out of Canton, Ohio, built a specialized roller bearing production facility in Columbus, Ohio in 1958. At the Timken Company’s peak, thousands of people worked at the Columbus and Canton factories, producing a variety of products, mostly for the growing railroad industry.
The Timken Company operated in the Columbus, Ohio plant until 2001, manufacturing ball and roller bearings, and later seals and gaskets. Business was good, but the workplace proved to be a toxic hotspot, full of asbestos, endangering thousands of employees each year, and causing widespread health issues that are still wreaking havoc to former Timken employees today.
Hundreds of former Timken Company workers have suffered asbestos-related illnesses as a result of the unsafe workplace, and several subsequent asbestos exposure lawsuits have been filed.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati asbestos lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of toxic tort and mesothelioma claims.
Working in the railroad industry comes with inherent health risks, the most deadly of which is a widespread exposure to asbestos, which was used in the manufacturing of railway and locomotive components until the 1970s.
Used for its strength and resistance to heat, asbestos filled the railways, and many institutions involved in keeping the railroad running. Workers were unknowingly exposed through various locomotive parts and building structures. As insulation and components broke down with time and use, asbestos fibers were released into the air and inhaled into the lungs of factory workers.
Once asbestos fibers are inhaled they become lodged in the surrounding tissue of the lungs and remain. The fibers commonly cause inflammation, scarring and lead to related illnesses like lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma.
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Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.
The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.
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One study published by the American Journal of Industrial Medicine concludes that workers in the railway industry over the last few decades have faced a “significant exposure” to asbestos. The study notes a “high risk of occupation-related cancer.”
The risk of exposure was possibly even worse at component production plants, like Timken Company. Because asbestos is an airborne toxin, the material can affect anyone in an enclosed building.
Timken workers were likely exposed to asbestos in several different areas in the factory, including around the following:
• Electrical panels
• Floor tiles
• Sealing cement
Nearly any employee in or around machine shops were vulnerable to breathe in toxic asbestos fibers. Timken workers in positions in or near the vicinity of grinding and lathing operations were frequently exposed to asbestos dust on the job.
It was common for machinists and workers in maintenance to cut, sand or smooth asbestos-containing materials, which released asbestos fibers into the air, soon to be inhaled into the lungs. These workers may have frequently handled locomotive parts that were insulated with asbestos. Other particularly hazardous positions at risk of asbestos exposure included:
• Maintenance Crews
Symptoms of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases may not present for up to 30 years after initial exposure. When an ill patient does show symptoms, they may include the following:
• Pain in the chest and back
• Shortness of breath
• Excessive sweating
• Weight loss
• Trouble swallowing
Railroads and railway component manufacturers in Ohio continued using asbestos even after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) made companies aware of the health risks. Many companies did not inform employees of the hazards, and failed to provide them with protective measures.
Former employees of Timken Company in Columbus, and other unsafe workplaces in Ohio, who have developed serious health issues may have claims against their former employers.
Deadly illnesses like mesothelioma may have been caused by asbestos exposure in the workplace up to 30 years before symptoms appear. Please do not hesitate to seek medical and legal assistance.
The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to asbestos exposure.