A United States federal court judge in Philadelphia (PA) has dismissed RFPC (Railroad Friction Products Corporation) from a lawsuit over asbestos exposure, which was filed by the widow of a laborer. The court ruled that the company was correct for asserting that the claims of the plaintiff were preempted by the LIA (Locomotive Inspection Act).
Alice Perry – the plaintiff – argued that the LIA doesn’t preempt her claims as the brake shoe products to which her deceased husband, Mr. George Perry, had been exposed weren’t found on a locomotive.
The woman accuses that her deceased husband had contracted asbestos-linked injuries while removing and installing the brake shoes manufactured by RFPC. The brake shoes were used on different sorts of railcars.
The main issue in this lawsuit, according to United States District Judge Hon. Eduardo Robreno, was if the LIA preempted the state law claims of Perry, particularly when considering the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Kurns vs. RFPC, which the judge said affirmed the wideness of the long-standing principles of field preemption of the Locomotive Inspection Act.
George Perry had installed brake shoes on various locomotives and stripped asbestos-containing insulation from locomotive boilers. Asbestos fibres were disturbed and became airborne during the process and inhalation of these fibers cause Mr. Perry to develop a deadly cancer, Alice Perry claimed.
The plaintiff alleged that the equipment her husband used was defectively designed as it contained dangerous asbestos. She also alleged that the defendant companies failed to warn Mr. Perry of the hazards of exposure to asbestos fibres. Additionally, the defendants failed to provide proper instructions regarding the safe use of the equipment, according to the lawsuit.
Mesothelioma is a deadly tumor of the mesothelium, the narrow membrane (lining) which covers the outer surface of many organs of the human body. If the tumor affects the pleura (the smooth outer lining which covers the lungs), it is known as pleural mesothelioma. And if it affects the peritoneum (the outer lining which covers the abdominal organs), then the cancer is known as peritoneal mesothelioma.
There is only one cause for mesothelioma and that is exposure to or inhalation / ingestion of asbestos fibres. Although one can be exposed to asbestos fibers through different means, occupational exposure to asbestos fibres has been found as the most common reason for contracting malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is always fatal.