FELA Information and Lawyers

Congress passed the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) in 1908 in response to the high number of railroad deaths in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Under FELA, railroad workers who are not covered by regular workers’ compensation laws are able to sue companies over their injury claims. FELA allows monetary payouts for pain and suffering decided by juries based on comparative negligence rather than a pre-determined benefits schedule under workers compensation.

Tens of millions of dollars have been paid by railroad companies to settle solvent lawsuits under FELA. Current or former railroad workers have claimed exposure to toxic solvents from the 1960s into the 1990s has caused mild to severe brain damage. CSX, the largest railroad in the eastern United States, has acknowledged settling 466 solvent exposure claims and paying up to $35 million, though the company has continued to deny a link between solvent exposure and brain damage. The railroad has said the high number of claims were in response to aggressive FELA attorneys recruiting clients and planting the idea that they were sick.

Medical experts estimate that thousands of workers may be suffering from toxic encephalopathy but have been misdiagnosed due to the complexity of the debilitating illness. There are relatively few doctors in the U.S. considered experts in the field of diagnosing toxic encephalopathy due to the complexity of the illness.

fela worker FELA attorneys claim the toxic encephalopathy that has been suffered by potentially thousands of railroad workers was because of industry officials ignoring warnings of the dangers of solvent exposure, the failure to implement safety precautions and the opposition to allowing OSHA regulations to ensure workplace safety. Though chemical solvents have been largely phased out by railroads, workers have been exposed to high concentrations for long durations of time for decades and are still coming forward with symptoms of permanent brain damage.

For more information on FELA law and railroad lawsuits, please contact our FELA lawyer.

What is Fela?
what is fela?FELA, or the Federal Employment Liability Act assures railroad employees a safe work place and gives them and their families the right to recover compensation if injured in a railroad related accident. Under FELA, injured employees can seek compensation for wage loss, future wage loss, medical expenses and treatments, pain and suffering, and for partial or permanent disability. All railroad solvent exposure lawsuits have been filed under FELA. Click Here for More Information »