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FELA and Jones Act: Exposure to Toxic Chemicals

FELA and Jones Act: Injuries and Occupational Exposure to Toxic Chemicals

The Federal Employer's Liability Act (FELA), is a federal law that protects and compensates railroaders who are injured on the job or as a result of an occupational illness.  Congress passed the Federal Employer's Liability Act in the early 1900's to protect employees and their families by providing the right to recover compensation when injured as a result of an accident or occupational illness.  Such compensation under the statute provides for a jury trial right and to seek compensation for lost wages, future wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and additional damages for permanent disability.  Mr. Morgan is a designated FELA attorney approved by the Transportation Communication Union.  Mr. Paul is a panel attorney for the Union plus sponsored by the AFL-CIO. 

The Jones Act is a federal law modeled after the Federal Employer's Liability Act that provides compensation to Maritime workers who work on both inland waterways and offshore vessels. 

Occupational exposure to carcinogens such as asbestos and benzene may lead to illnesses that may be compensated through the above laws or various products liability laws.  The inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause mesothelioma, a type of cancer strongly associated with asbestos exposure.

Benzene is a chemical used for many industrial purposes that is known to cause cancer.  Those exposed to benzene in the workplace and subsequently diagnosed with certain types of cancers, blood disorders, or other illnesses may have a right to compensation for the medical expenses, and pain and suffering.  The type of benzene exposure can vary depending on whether the individual is inhaling air around hazardous sites or working with certain chemicals that contain benzene. 


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