Four Navajo Nation members, who were former railroad workers, are now all suffering from lung disease. Consequently, they recently filed a lawsuit against BNSF Railway. They allege that due to the exposure to dusty work conditions their lungs and respiratory systems were damaged. They were exposed to toxic ballast rock, gravel, coal dust and fibers. Unfortunately, BNSF failed to provide ventilation, warnings and protection that constitute a safe work environment.
Two of the workers began work for the railroad in the 1940s and the other two in the 1960s. The effects of these labor conditions, especially over an extended period of time, take a toll on the body and can go unnoticed for years. Some of the symptoms include shortness of breath, chest tightness, chest pain and abnormal breathing patterns. They claim that thousands of men were exposed to similar conditions due to BNSF’s negligence.