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Diesel Exhaust Exposure

Representing Cleveland, Ohio Collinwood Yard Workers in Railroad Injury Claims
Freight train on tracks with diesel exhaust

Railroad Cancer Lawsuits

Former workers at Cleveland’s Collinwood Yard and other rail yards in the region have fallen ill years after workplace toxic exposures to the following: diesel fumes, welding fumes, asbestos, silica, creosote, benzene, industrial solvents. Any individual diagnosed with a related cancer may have a personal injury claim against a former employer. 

Reviewing cancer cases linked to toxic railroad exposure at Collinwood Yard or Clark Avenue Yard in Cleveland, Ohio

Our attorneys are investigating a wide range of work injury and toxic exposure claims on behalf of railroad workers in Ohio and nationwide. We have the experience, the resources and the willingness to take on complex occupational cancer cases, and negotiate for a significant settlement package. 

Thousands of former workers in Ohio’s rail yards were likely exposed to a variety of industrial toxins and carcinogenic materials that were widely used in the industry. The EPA and CDC have warned that even a small duration of exposure to some hazardous substances could raise the risk of later developing specific kinds of cancer. Even today, some rail yards are filled with diesel exhaust fumes, that can lead to a number of medical conditions if workers are not properly protected. 

Contact our legal team to learn more about the safety hazards at railroad facilities, and to discuss whether you have a viable case. We have settled workplace cancer claims on behalf of workers in Ohio and nationwide. 

What is Recoverable in a Railroad Cancer Lawsuit?

Your case is unique due to your individual work history and medical diagnosis. A compensation package that we negotiate will depend on a number of factors, including your occupation at a particular rail yard, the duration of employment, evidence of toxic exposure, and the severity of your current medical condition. The following damages may be awarded to you in a railroad injury case:

  • Lost wages: you can claim the loss of wages due to a work-related illness or injury. These can include past wages and also the loss of future earnings if a serious illness prevents you from returning to your job in the same or similar capacity. 
  • Medical Expenses: All medical bills related to an occupational lung disease may be covered in the event that insurance does not cover treatments, medications, therapy and long-term disability. 
  • Non-Material Damages: plaintiffs have successfully been able to settle claims that include damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of quality of life and in some cases, punitive damages against a former employer. In a wrongful death claim, families can sue for the loss of companionship and loss of future earnings. 

About Collinwood Yard

The Collinwood Yard, as well as the Clark Avenue Yard, have been operated by Conrail and CSX for most of the last 50 years. 

Collinwood has a long history, and was a major switching point of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad and had vast freight yards under their control. The Collinwood Yards, at one point, included over 120 miles of track and also had major repair shops on site. In the war years and for a time after, Collinwood, near Cleveland proper, was one of the busiest industrial areas in the world, and necessitated a large rail network. The railroads in the Cleveland, Ohio area served Fisher Body of GM, TRW, General Electric, Lincoln Electric, Bailey Meter and many other large corporations.

Conrail took over the Collinwood Yard in the mid 1970s and eventually downsized, and closed their extensive diesel locomotive repair facilities.

Note about Conrail: The federal government bailed out struggling regional railroads in the 1970s and created a new company called Conrail. Conrail was eventually disbanded and their assets reorganized between CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern.


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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.


The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.

What Cancers Are Linked to Diesel Exposure?

Industry experts have warned for years about the safety hazards of working long durations in a rail yard where diesel fumes are present. Diesel exhaust contains benzene, a known carcinogen, and diesel exhaust has been linked to the following medical conditions:

  • Lung Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Nasopharyngeal Cancer
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
  • Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)
  • Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Aplastic Anemia
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
  • Emphysema
  • RADS (Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome)
  • Interstitial Lung Disease
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis 

Former Collinwood Yard or Clark Avenue Yard workers who get a confirmed cancer diagnosis may file a workers’ compensation claim as well as a work injury claim under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). If this compensation package does not meet your expectations, you may consider taking legal action and filing a railroad cancer lawsuit. Contact an attorney to learn more about the legal process. 

Which Cleveland Railroad Workers Are at Risk?

Over the years, thousands of Cleveland, Ohio railroad workers at Collinwood Yard may have been heavily exposed to diesel fumes, welding fumes, creosote, silica, asbestos and industrial solvents. The railroad industry has never been known to be an entirely safe workplace, but employers have a duty to protect staff to the best of their ability.

Many mechanics, welders and machinists worked in small machine shops with poor ventilation. Pipefitters and electricians were known to handle asbestos materials in insulation for boilers and machinery. Yardmen and anyone tasked with handling tracks were possibly exposed to silica in the sand on site or creosote, used to treat the tracks themselves. 

Conductors, engineers, maintenance staff, and many other workers at rail facilities were exposed to diesel every day due to the large locomotives emitting huge clouds of toxic exhaust. 

Why Hire The Lyon Firm?

Our lawyers have settled numerous toxic exposure claims on behalf of plaintiffs in Ohio and nationwide. We have negotiated six and seven-figure compensation packages for individuals and families following the diagnosis of an occupational illness.

We work with experts across the country to build a strong case against a former employer who may have been negligent in protecting workers. Many companies failed to properly train employees or provide protective gear. Call us to review your case with a free consultation.

By hiring a railroad cancer lawyer, you can seek compensation, and let us assume all the necessary tasks while you focus on your health and spend time with your loved ones. 

photo of attorney Joe Lyon


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Collinwood Yard Diesel Cancer FAQ

Can I File A Railroad Illness Lawsuit?

To discuss your claims, you can contact our attorneys to review your case. We can determine whether you may or may not have a good claim for compensation. Generally, if you worked for a railroad, and years later you develop one of the cancers or lung diseases listed above, you may have a good claim. 

Who Is Responsible For My Illness?

There is no shame in holding a former employer accountable for an injury if they failed to properly warn you of the health risks involved with a particular job. No matter your position, all American firms have a duty to protect the safety and health of their workers. 

Is It Hard To Win a Railroad Cancer Case?

Every case is different, and we only accept cases we believe are viable. With that said, settlements are likely when a former worker can draw a connection from past toxic exposure at a rail yard to a current medical condition. 

How Can a Railroad Cancer Attorney Help?

Our legal team will guide you through the complicated process, and assume all financial risk in your case. We aim to reach a fast and significant settlement on your behalf. It is prudent to hire an experienced lawyer to get you the best terms in your compensation package.