PHILADELPHIA – A former train conductor and brakeman of 36 years claims a trio of rail companies violated the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) by neglecting to provide him a safe workplace, and allegedly causing him to contract kidney cancer through exposure to toxic substances.

John Pusicz of Philadelphia filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Sept. 8 versus Penn Central Corporation (doing business as “American Premier Underwriters, Inc.”) c/o C.T. Corporation Systems of Harrisburg, Consolidated Rail Corporation of Philadelphia and Norfolk Southern Railway Co. of Norfolk, Va.

Pusicz worked as a conductor/brakeman for the defendants for 36 years, from 1972 through 2008. During that time, he says he “was exposed to excessive and harmful toxic substances, including diesel exhaust, benzene and/or asbestos while working as a brakeman and conductor for the defendants, in and around Philadelphia and Camden, N.J.”

The plaintiff maintains that being exposed to these toxic substances, including “diesel fumes/exhaust, benzene and/or asbestos, in whole or in part, caused or contributed to his development of kidney cancer.”

Pusicz claims the defendants violated FELA by negligently failing to provide a reasonably safe place to work and failing “to…minimize or eliminate [John] Pusicz’s exposure to diesel exhaust, benzene and/or asbestos”, among other charges.

As a result of these circumstances, Pusicz says he incurred “pain, suffering, inconvenience, irritation, annoyance, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life”, in addition to being diagnosed with and suffering from kidney cancer.

For one count of FELA violation, the plaintiff is seeking damages individually, jointly and/or severally from the defendants, for an amount in excess of $50,000 and the costs of this action.

The plaintiff is represented by Thomas J. Joyce III of Bern Cappelli, in Conshohocken.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170900606

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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