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Non-Acute Injuries

Cumulative Trauma Injuries

Railroads in the United States are hauling more freight over more miles of track than ever before but are using fewer employees to carry out this physically demanding work. In 1970 there were approx. 640,000 railroad employees and by 1987, the number of railroad employees dropped to approx. 263,000.

As of 2013, the number of freight railroad employees in the United States has further decreased to approx. 176,000. Increased productivity and decreased manpower has resulted in many overworked employees and has ultimately contributed to the prevalence of cumulative trauma orthopedic injuries.

Railroad workers of all crafts are exposed to risk factors generally recognized in medicine and science as a contributing cause of cumulative trauma orthopedic injuries. The railroad industry has long been aware of the presence of risk factors in the working environment yet, for a number of reasons, has elected not to take steps to sufficiently reduce employee exposures to many recognized hazards. Cumulative trauma injuries can occur to all parts of the body, including the joints, bones and tissues of the spine, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, fingers, hips, knees, ankles and feet. Many times surgery is required to treat these types of orthopedic injuries which can lead to premature disability.

Occupational Exposure Injuries

Numerous work-related illnesses can develop as a result of repeated and prolonged exposure to certain toxic chemicals and hazardous elements routinely present in the railroad working environment. Some examples of hazardous materials that can cause or contribute to cause serious illnesses include diesel exhaust, diesel fumes, asbestos, creosote, chemicals, dust, powders, dioxins, chlorinated solvents, silica, degreasing agents, fuel oil, sulfur smoke, sulfuric acid, chlorine, acids, phosphate fumes, herbicides and pesticides. When a railroad fails to take appropriate steps to protect employees from inhaling harmful fumes and toxins, and fails to provide its employees with appropriate respiratory protective equipment, railroad workers can suffer from serious and life-threatening illnesses.

Some of the illnesses linked to exposures in the railroad work environment include:

  • Asbestosis
  • Silicosis
  • Bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Lung cancer or lung disease
  • Mesothelioma
  • Brain cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Solvent encephalopathy
  • Multiple myeloma
Great Lawyer!

Jeff Chod was my lawyer in a suit against MRL in Missoula Montana.He
distinguished himself in a very professional manner. His hard work,
extensive knowledge and attention to detail enabled me to get a
satisfactorysettlement. He was easily accessible and quickly attended to all my
questions and worries. I highly recommend Jeff to anyone due to his work
ethic and willingness to go that extra mile to insure his client gets the best
possible results.

~ Brian, Victor, MT
Changed my life

I met Mr. Chod in 2007. It was the best decision I have ever made to
hire him. I was injured and scared, and he did not know me, but gave
me confidence, told me to focus on getting better and he would take
care of the rest. Amazingly he did and I made also a friend for life.

~ Tony, Amelia, OH
My experience was outstanding

As a former MOW employee for Wisconsin Central Railroad in need of an
injury attorney, it has been my experience that good FELA attorneys are hard
to find. After having to fire my first attorney due to a very frustrating
experience, I found attorney Chod and from that point on, my experience
was nothing short of outstanding. Jeff treated me personally with
compassion as if I were his only client and understood completely
the seriousness of my injury. He fought a very long and
tough battle against a team of very high powered attorneys
with due diligence...

~ Todd, Wausau, WI
Railroad Incident

I hired Mr. Chod after I had an incident at a mine here in
Wyoming when I worked for the Union Pacific Railroad
and he did an excellent job of settling my case. Mr. Chod
worked well with myself and the doctors he talked to and
other railroad employees.

~ Connie, Douglas, WY
When you need a winner, he is your guy...

In September of 2014 I suffered a career ending injury at BNSF Railway. The RR choose to not do the right thing even though I continued to have faith in them. I talked to Jeff on a recommendation of a friend after many broken promises by BNSF. I had only done one thing wrong that night, and that was trusting BNSF to accurately train, and prepare a operator to safely work along side me. I talked with Jeff and he helped ease my mind and finally realize that the RR was not conducting themselves in my best interest or livelihood. My injuries physically were were permanent and the PTSD was overwhelming and learning to deal with it was life altering. Jeff worked tirelessly for me and my future well-being. He fought them like David and Goliath and we won.

~ Lisa, Memphis, TN
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