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Diesel Exhaust Exposure

Railroad Cancer Lawyer With Nationwide Success
Freight train on tracks with diesel exhaust

Railroad Cancer Lawyers

Investigating workplace toxic exposures and diesel exhaust lung cancer claims on behalf of Union Pacific workers at West Oakland Yards

Railroad workers at the West Oakland Desert Yard and other across the country have filed personal injury claims after claims that Union Pacific and other rail companies failed to protect them, resulting in occupational lung cancer

The Lyon Firm has filed diesel exhaust exposure claims for several railroad workers who were exposed to industrial cancer-causing agents such diesel exhaust, asbestos, solvents, fuels, welding fumes, silica, and creosote. If a railroad company fails to protect workers from toxic exposure, they may be liable for any resulting injury or illness.

The West Oakland Yards (also known as the Desert Yard) is a massive rail yard facility in Oakland, California. Formerly owned by the Southern Pacific Railroad, the yards have been operated by Union Pacific Railroad since 1996. The yards have long been known for their maintenance yards, roundhouses, car assembly and repair shops, creosoting plant, and shipyards.

Diesel exhaust exposure at a work site like the West Oakland Yards may have been presumed a normal part of the job. The pervasive smell of diesel and other strong fumes, however, are more than just an irritation, but a serious occupational hazard. Many Union Pacific workers, in fact, have been diagnosed with lung cancer and other conditions, potentially due to years of diesel exhaust exposure. 

Any worker, current or former, suffering from a documented toxic exposure occupational cancer may be entitled to rightful compensation. Contact a toxic exposure lawyer at (513) 381-2333 to review your injury claims.

What Can Damages in a Railroad Injury Lawsuit Cover?

Injury claims in a railroad cancer lawsuit can cover many life-long costs that an injured worker may be facing. Such recoveries can include the following:

  • Hospital, medical, medication, surgery and treatment costs
  • Costs possibly not covered by health insurance, such as follow-up therapy and rehabilitation
  • Lost wages if a worker missed a significant amount of employment due to illness
  • Loss of the ability to generate future income (if an individual has a permanent, disabling condition)
  • Pain and suffering 
  • A reduced quality of life
  • Wrongful Death

The damages awarded to a victim, or the size of a personal injury settlement will depend on the severity of the specific injury, as well as your attorney’s experience and skill. It is crucial to hire an attorney who has proven success in handling railroad cancer and diesel exposure cases.

California has long been one the largest industrial hubs sin the country, and with huge ports and a wide range of manufacturing facilities in many of the coastal cities, a large amount of freight is loaded to be transferred across the nation by rail. The workers at the Desert Yard play a critical role in the success of the nation’s output, and deserve to be rewarded by contributing so mightily to the country’s economic prowess. 


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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 Occupational Cancers are Linked to Diesel Exposure?

Diesel exhaust exposure has been linked in studies to strokes, heart disease, as well as a number of cancers listed below. If you or a loved one worked at West Oakland Yards and have been diagnosed with one of the following cancers or conditions, you may have a viable workplace injury claim:

  • 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 

Following a definitive cancer diagnosis, current or former Union Pacific employees may be entitled to compensation under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA).Workers’ compensation may also be considered. Those who have been affected should contact a railroad cancer attorney at (513) 381-2333.

Which West Oakland Yards Workers Are at Risk?


Railroad machinists, pipefitters, and electricians may be exposed to large amounts of diesel exhaust, asbestos, and welding fumes. Rail shop workers at West Oakland Yards have almost certainly been exposed to some level of industrial toxins in solvents, degreasers, lubricants, and fuels.


In a perfect world, diesel exhaust would remain outside the cabs of locomotives, but of course with the imperfect design of the cabs, that is impossible. Union Pacific employees have reported cleaning the inside windows of a cab due to the constant buildup of diesel fuel debris.

Friends of families of many railroad workers have described the strong odor of diesel exhaust that clings to workers’ clothing and person. 


West Oakland Yards employees who maintained and constructed tracks and yards were also exposed to diesel exhaust when they worked closely with locomotives. 


The company mechanics who maintain and repair locomotives and cars can be heavily exposed to diesel toxins. Diesel mechanics often work in small roundhouses and shops where engines run in closed spaces. Poorly ventilated working areas always raises the risk of diesel exhaust cancer.

Asbestos is still a concern after all these years. The machinery and buildings were often built decades ago and still contain asbestos-insulated steam pipes and asbestos boilers, and asbestos-containing brake pads. 

Cancer cases may be connected to other railroad locations as well. Contact a lawyer if you have questions about your work location.

Why Hire The Lyon Firm?

The Lyon Firm has the experience, resources, and dedication to take on your difficult and emotional railroad cancer case. We work to get our clients the best settlement available and we obtain justice for the wrong they have suffered.

Experience: Joe Lyon is an experienced Occupational Cancer Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has twenty years of experience in the area of Toxic Tort Litigation and has success representing injured individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states. 

Filing suit against a large corporation can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of your occupational cancer. That is why Mr. Lyon works with leading experts nationwide: to ensure individuals win their respective cases. 

Results: Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six-figure settlements. View our Case Results page to learn more. 

Are You Ready to Pursue a Railroad Cancer Lawsuit?

Each railroad cancer case is unique, but almost every one involves a serious medical condition that creates a life-altering physical, emotional, and financial hardship. There is no dishonor in seeking assistance, and holding any responsible party accountable for the harms they may have caused. 

If you or a loved one were exposed to toxins while working at West Oakland Yards or another Union Pacific worksite, contact the Lyon Firm at (513) 381-2333.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon
A Voice for Those who have suffered

Why You Should File a Claim

Compensation for plaintiffs can help pay for growing medical expenses and the associated costs of long-term disability, rehabilitation, and lost wages. During some of the most trying times in a worker’s life can be the years after employment due to the occupational aftermath. You deserve to be compensated for any injury linked to workplace negligence. 


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West Oakland Yards Lawsuits  FAQ

Can I File A Diesel Cancer Lawsuit?

If you were regularly exposed to diesel exhaust at your workplace, and have developed cancer or a lung condition, you are likely to qualify for compensation. It is safe to assume that the longer you are exposed to certain toxic materials, the higher the cancer risk. Determining liability, however, can be a complex process, so hiring the best railroad cancer lawyer can be the most important part of this entire legal process. 

Is the Railroad Responsible For My Injury?

That is likely. Railroad employers are responsible for educating, training, and protecting employees in any high-risk work situations. This includes providing the proper safety gear and making sure all safety equipment is regularly maintained.

If there is an OSHA safety violation that directly leads to illness or injury, an employer may be held accountable. Contact our work injury attorneys to investigate your case.

Is It Hard To Win a Railroad Cancer Case?

The success rates of settling occupational cancer cases following diesel exposure are quite high. It is simply necessary to prove that your toxic exposure caused lung injury, cancer or another disease. This is the task of The Lyon Firm, and we have experience in proving these links between diesel exhaust and cancer.