Acute Myeloid Leukemia and FELA

Acute Myeloid Leukemia, or AML, is a very serious type of cancer. Unlike many other cancer types, AML is not characterized by a tumor; instead, it forms in the body’s bone marrow, and then can quickly move into the blood. As explained by the American Cancer Society, AML can spread to other parts of the body too, including the spleen, liver, and central nervous system.


Risk Factors for AML

Scientists do not have scientific proof that there is any one thing that causes AML, but they do know that there are risk factors which significantly increase the chances that someone may develop AML. These risk factors include:

  • Smoking;
  • Certain chemical exposure;
  • Certain drugs;
  • Radiation exposure;
  • Exposure to herbicides to pesticides;
  • Workplace exposure to diesel, gasoline, or certain chemicals;
  • Exposure to electromagnetic fields;
  • Genetic factors; and
  • Being male.

Some of the risk factors listed above in bold are controversial. Another reason that these items are bolded is because they are risk factors that may directly affect workers, particularly railroad workers.


Railroad Workers, AML, and FELA

A railroad worker or former railroad worker that develops and is diagnosed with AML may have reason to believe that they would not have developed the cancer but for their workplace exposure to chemicals, diesel/gasoline, and other dangerous substances or toxins.

When this is the case, they may be able to bring forth a claim through FELA, the Federal Employers Liability Act.

FELA states that employers (for railroad employees) have a duty to ensure that the workplace is reasonably free of hazards, warn employees of hazards, and correct hazards if they do exist. Railroad companies also have a duty to make sure employees receive proper training and safety equipment. If an employee/former employee can prove that the railroad company/employer neglected this duty, and that the negligence contributed to the employee’s development of AML, the employee can seek damages.


Our Lawyers Can Help

AML is a terrible disease. If you suspect that you would not have developed AML but for your time spent as a railroad worker, please contact our experienced FELA cancer lawyers at the offices of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC today. We can help you seek damages for your losses.

It is important to work with an attorney who understands the difference between FELA and Workers’ Compensation and is able to navigate the complicated claims process for you. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your individual circumstances.