The Simmons Firm, a national asbestos litigation firm headquartered in Alton, IL, represents the Simpkins family. Attorney Ted Gianaris commended the court’s ruling, saying the decision strengthens the rights of Illinois families unjustly harmed by toxic exposures and keeps the railroad from evading its responsibility.
“The Supreme Court made a thoughtful decision that adds protection for any family member who becomes ill from a toxic exposure through no fault of his own,” Gianaris said. “The railroad wanted blanket immunity, claiming its responsibility ended with its workers. The railroad wants us to forget that it knew asbestos was deadly and was likely to leave the rail yard and make it home with the workers.”
According to the complaint in Simpkins, et al. v. CSX Transportation, Mr. Simpkins brought asbestos dust home on his clothes in the 1960s while working for CSX Transportation, formerly B&O Railroad. Mrs. Simpkins was exposed while doing his laundry and later developed mesothelioma, an aggressive asbestos-cancer. In 2007, the case was dismissed without trial at the railroad’s urging. Mrs. Simpkins died from her cancer that same year.
“Take-home” asbestos exposure occurs when a family member brings asbestos fibers from the workplace home on his clothes or skin, exposing others living in the household. Studies have shown mesothelioma can be caused with very little exposure to asbestos.
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“This ruling protects Illinois’ families and holds wrongdoers accountable,” Gianaris said.
About Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC
The Simmons Firm is a leading national law firm in complex litigation matters and has represented thousands of clients throughout the country on issues involving toxic exposure, consumer rights and public safety. The firm is dedicated to helping families impacted by asbestos exposure and has pledged over $15 million to cancer research. Additionally, the firm focuses on intellectual property litigation, pharmaceutical injury litigation, and contingent fee commercial litigation.