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Diesel Exhaust Exposure

Reviewing Norfolk Southern Spencer Yard Injury Claims
Freight train on tracks with diesel exhaust

Railroad Cancer Lawsuits

After years of toxic exposure at a rail yard, employees regularly fall ill and may be diagnosed with occupational lung diseases and cancers linked to exposure to creosote, silica, asbestos, benzene and diesel exhaust.

Our toxic exposure lawyers are offering free consultations to railroad workers diagnosed with cancer

Industry experts have noted that chronic or acute exposure to diesel exhaust, asbestos, solvents, fuels, welding fumes, silica, and creosote can greatly  elevate the risk of certain cancers. As any railway worker in the yard can attest to, toxic exposure is largely a part of the job description. Because of the nature of the work, it is considered one of the more hazardous industries to make a career out of. However, there have been OSHA safety standards in place for fifty years, and any employer who violated safety protocols may be held liable when an injury occurs. 

Norfolk Southern employees at the Spencer Yard (Linwood Yard) who now suffer from a diesel-related cancer or another lung disease as a result of spending years around toxins may rightfully seek compensation for their losses. Contact our legal team to review your case and to begin the legal process. 

Is it Too Late to File a Railroad Cancer Lawsuit?

It is best to file a work injury claim as soon as possible, which means shortly after a confirmed cancer diagnosis. This gives our attorneys time to build the strongest case possible on your behalf. You can still consider a personal injury lawsuits even if you have filed for workers comp or FELA claims. All we need is your work history and your medical records and we can begin processing your claim. You may be able to recover the following:

  • Long-term disability
  • Loss of past wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Medical bills and hospital expenses
  • Cost of future medications, treatments and operations
  • Cost of rehab and surgery
  • Costs that your insurance will not cover
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Wrongful death

All railroad diesel cancer injury cases are different and your final compensation package that we negotiate will be determined by a number of factors, including how long you spent at a particular rail yard, your position and daily tasks at the rail yard, your specific medical diagnosis, and the viability of your future employment. 

About the Spencer Yard

Spencer Yard, also known as the Linwood Yard, in Linwood, North Carolina, at 376 acres is one of the largest classification railroad yards in the state. Up until 2020, it was also one of the remaining hump yards in North America, but the hump was eliminated as were many others throughout the country.

The Spencer Yard, north of Salisbury and west of Linwood, started operations in 1979 and has been operated by Norfolk Southern Railway since the merger took place. Spencer Yard is named after Samuel Spencer, the first president of Southern Railway. The yard facilities include diesel locomotive repair shops, which replaced older facilities at the nearby Spencer Shops.


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photo of railroad tracks coated with creosote

What Cancers Are Linked to Diesel Exhaust Exposure?

Numerous occupational cancers and lung diseases have close associations with workplace exposure to diesel exhaust, welding fumes, creosote, asbestos and silica. The following have been noted by experts as a risk of working in a rail yard:

  • 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 

The above diseases and illnesses can be prevented if the proper safety gear is used and workers are educated about the risks of close contact with toxic materials. Many lawsuits have argued that railroad workers, especially before the mid-1980s, were completely unaware that diesel fumes and other toxins were likely to raise the risk of developing cancer later in life. Major rail companies have been held accountable for a failure to warn employees of such health hazards, and former workers have settled cases for six and seven figures. 

Injured Norfolk Southern employees may be entitled to compensation under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) as well as claims with Workers’ compensation, however to make sure  compensation packages do not prohibit you from filing a personal injury claim that can fill in significant financial gaps, victims should contact a railroad cancer attorney at (513) 381-2333. 

Who is At Risk at the Spencer Yard?

A variety of rail yard positions have historically been exposed to diesel, asbestos, benzene, solvents, fuels, welding fumes, silica, and creosote, leading to long-term health issues like cancer. Most workers assumed such chemical inhalation wasn’t exactly the best thing for them, but trusted their employer to protect their well-being. It turns out that some railway companies were negligent and provided workers with very little in the way of workplace health education.

As the years have gone by, there seems to be a trend among former rail yard employees. Those at high risk of developing cancer and lung disease include mostly the positions in the yard that involved directly handling toxic materials like railroad ties that were treated with creosote and other chemicals. Many others were exposed to diesel by just showing up to work because the locomotives discharged large amounts of exhaust on site.

Pipefitters, boiler workers, mechanics and electricians were likely exposed to asbestos in years past with huge amounts of the substance embedded in brakes, fittings, valves, gaskets and electrical components. Yardmen, signal men, conductors and brakemen were regularly exposed to diesel exhaust. Machinists and engineers were also at risk at almost any rail station in the country.

Why Hire The Lyon Firm?

The Lyon Firm is dedicated to finding the best compensation packages for former railroad workers at Norfolk Southern’s Linwood Yard – Spencer Yard, and any other employees around the country who need assistance after a cancer diagnosis turns their world upside down. During the toughest times, a family may badly need financial help but does not know where to turn. Legal recourse may be possible, and we are here to make the process as easy and straightforward as possible.

We offer our legal services on a contingency basis, which means by working with us, we assume all the financial risk. You can focus on your health and family and we will assume all the difficult tasks of building a case and working toward a settlement.

We have twenty years of experience in the toxic exposure field, and we work with experts around the country that can draw links from your diagnosis to specific toxic exposure in your past work history. These cases can be complex, but we have proven success in settling work toxic exposure cases.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon
A Voice for The Working Class

Why File a Railroad Injury Claim?

When you are very ill and are having a difficult time considering personal finances and health at the same time, filing a lawsuit may be the best course of action. It can be the last resort when a company fails to provide you with the money you need to pay your expenses. 

Railroad Cancer claims may be able to pay for medical bills as well as costs of future expenses that may not be realistic if you are disabled and unable to work. Settlements can bring you peace, justice and the financing you and your family need for the future. 


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Spencer Yard Work Injury FAQ

Can I File A Railroad Injury Lawsuit?

Any workers at Spencer – Linwood or another rail station that handled toxic materials in the past and now have developed a related illness may have a good claim. Contact us to review your case and to begin the investigation. 

Who Can Be Held Accountable For My Injury?

Many companies were unaware that certain chemicals and materials were causing cancer among their staff until the 1980s. But since then, they should have been well aware that some workers were taking safety risks by working around toxins. If they failed to warn you, they may be held responsible. 

Is It Hard To Win a Railroad Cancer Case?

The success rates of settlements regarding toxic occupational cancer cases are tilted in the favor of the plaintiffs. The courts have largely sided with the victims in these situations. All employers in America, regardless of the industry, have a duty to protect the health and safety of workers. Thus, a settlement is likely after a confirmed diagnosis. 

How Can a Railroad Cancer Lawyer Help Me?

Our lawyers will begin an investigation once you provide us with the necessary documentation. We have filed several railroad cancer lawsuits, and have the resources to win large verdicts and settlements. For more information, contact the Lyon Firm at (513) 381-2333 to get started on your claim.