Amtrak | Courtesy of Shutterstock

PHILADELPHIA – The widow of an onboard service attendant for Amtrak claims that company violated the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) by exposing her late husband to toxic substances and causing him to contract fatal pancreatic cancer.

Ann Williams of Fitzgerald, Ga. (representative of the Estate of Willie F. Williams) filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Oct. 17 versus National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), of Philadelphia.

According to the lawsuit, Willie Williams was employed by the defendant as an onboard service attendant from 1973 to 2007. During that time frame, Ann Williams alleges he was “to excessive and harmful amounts of toxic substances, including diesel exhaust and/or asbestos.”

Ann further claims that less than three years before this action was filed, Ann learned “Willie F. Williams’ pancreatic cancer was caused or contributed to by the negligence of the defendant.”

Anne alleges the defendants violated FELA by negligently failing to provide Willie a reasonably safe place to work and failing “to minimize or eliminate the plaintiff’s decedent’s exposure to diesel exhaust and/or asbestos,” among other charges. As a result of these supposedly carcinogenic conditions, Ann claims Willie suffered illness and the development of pancreatic cancer, which Willie succumbed to on Oct. 18, 2014.

For one count of FELA violation and charges of survival and wrongful death, the plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 and the costs of this action, in addition to an eight-person trial by jury.

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

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 171002209

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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