PHILADELPHIA – A former trackman, machine operator and track supervisor operator of 35 years claims a trio of rail companies violated the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) by failing to provide him a safe workplace, and allegedly causing him to develop multiple myeloma through exposure to toxic substances.

Francisco Martins of Newark, N.J. filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on April 13 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 CSX Transportation, Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla.

Martins worked in the aforementioned capacities for the defendants for 35 years, from 1970 through 2005. During that time, he says he “was exposed to excessive and harmful amounts of toxic substances, including diesel exhaust, creosote and/or asbestos while working as a trackman, machine operator and track supervisor for the defendants at various yards in and around New Jersey.”

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

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

As a result of these situations, Martins says he incurred “pain, suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life”, in addition to being diagnosed with and suffering from multiple myeloma, possible loss of future pension benefits due to reduced life expectancy and fear of death.

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, plus a trial by jury.

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

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180401807

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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