PHILADELPHIA – A lawsuit filed by a former railroad electrician who sued his former employers for allegedly placing him in an unsafe work environment that later led him to develop kidney cancer, has been transferred to Blair County.

According to a judicial order issued by Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge Arnold L. New on March 1, Kenneth L. Kumpf’s litigation versus Penn Central Corporation (doing business as “American Premier Underwriters, Inc.”) in Harrisburg, Consolidated Rail (Conrail) Corporation in Philadelphia and Norfolk Southern Railway Company, of Norfolk, Va. was transferred to the Blair County Court of Common Pleas, for reasons of improper venue and forum non conveniens.

Kumpf, of Altoona, initially filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on May 19, 2017 against the previously-named defendants, for alleged violation of the Federal Employers Liability Act.

“From September 1975 through December 2015, plaintiff was employed by defendant railroads as an electrician and the injuries and damages sustained by plaintiff were sustained by the plaintiff while engaged in the course of his duties and in furtherance of interstate commerce and directly or closely and substantially affecting such commerce. Plaintiff was employed by defendant Railroads at their Juniata locomotive shop, Altoona, Pennsylvania,” the lawsuit says.

“During the course and scope of his career with the defendant railroads and while working in the defendants’ yards, buildings and along its right of ways, plaintiff was exposed to various toxic substances and carcinogens including but not limited to chemicals, solvents, diesel fuel/exhaust, benzene, heavy metals, manganese and rock/mineral dust and fibers. Said exposure was ongoing throughout his career. Plaintiff’s exposure to the above referenced toxic substances and known carcinogens, whether by touch, inhalation or consumption, in whole or in part, caused or contributed to his development of kidney cancer. Plaintiff’s exposure was cumulative and occurred at different and variable exposure levels over the course of his career depending on his work location,” the suit adds.

The plaintiff says his kidney cancer and related diseases of the result of the defendant railroads using known cancer-causing materials in their operations. The plaintiff adds the defendants violated FELA by failing to provide him with a safe work environment and exposed him to materials which were “deleterious, poisonous, toxic and highly harmful” to their employees’ health.

The plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 and recoverable under FELA, plus costs in this matter.

The plaintiff is represented by Mark J. Mustin of Bern Cappelli, in Conshohocken.

The defendants are represented by David A. Damico, Nicole E. Bazzy and Jeffrey A. Jackson of Burns White in Pittsburgh, plus Daniel L. Jones Jr., Nicholas W. Temeles (both admitted pro hac vice) and Louis D. Abrams of Blank Rome, in both Cincinnati, Ohio and Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170502995

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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