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Estate of deceased railroad worker sues over alleged exposure to toxins

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BELLEVILLE – The estate of a deceased railroad worker claims he died of lung cancer caused by exposure to toxic substances.

The lawsuit was filed by plaintiff Dawn Bueker, individually and on behalf of the estate of Alfred Rique Jr., in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against CSX Transportation Inc., Consolidated Rail Corporation and American Premier Underwriters.

According to the complaint, Rique was allegedly exposed to various toxins during his work with CSX railroad, including “second-hand cigarette smoke, asbestos, diesel exhaust, diesel fumes, diesel fuel, heavy metals, chemicals, dust, powders, dioxins, chlorinated hydrocarbons, degreasing agents, penetrating oils, cleaning solvents, lead dust, paint fumes, oils, sulfur smoke, silica sand, welding fumes, and other hazardous chemicals, compounds and agents.”

The suit states that the toxins “caused or contributed to cause his lung cancer and ultimately resulted in his death.”

Rique was hired by the defendants in the early 1970s. He allegedly worked around tracks, shops, roundhouses, and yards including the yard in East St. Louis.

Bueker claims Rique was unaware of the danger of the toxins he was exposed to at work.

She claims the defendants failed to provide a reasonably safe place to work and reasonably safe conditions, requiring him to work in environments where he was exposed to dangerous chemicals and substances. She also claims the defendants failed to maintain the areas, failed to educate Rique of the risks, failed to comply with OSHA standards, allowed dangerous conditions to exist and failed to label hazardous products, among other allegations.

The estate seeks more than $50,000 in damages, plus interest, court costs and all other relief the court deems just. Bueker is represented by Ted Gianaris of Gianaris Trial Lawyers in Alton.

 St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 22LA0976

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