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Diesel Exhaust Lawsuit

The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) currently represent many of the individuals whose lives were impacted by health conditions that developed due to continuing exposure to diesel exhaust on the job.

Diesel engines powered the overwhelming majority of vehicles used in the transportation industry, from trucks and locomotives to loading dock equipment powered by diesel fuel well into the 1980s.

Recent studies have confirmed long-held suspicions that prolonged exposure to the fumes and particulate produced by this fuel has a considerable impact on human health and well-being and in many cases may result in various cancers.

Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case.

Diesel Exhaust Cancer Lawyer

Exposure to Diesel Fumes to Long Term Health Complications

It is not surprising that the inhalation of fuel fumes is unhealthy. However, the association and extent of the damage caused by working with diesel-powered machinery was only recently understood.

Diesel fumes contain hundreds of chemicals that cause significant health problems. The substances include lead, cyanide, arsenic, formaldehyde, and benzene.

There are also microscopic particles emitted in fume exhaust that may enter and damage the lungs and build up in the lymph system, causing many health concerns including lung cancer.

Conditions linked to diesel exhaust exposure include emphysema, asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease, and specific heart ailments.

However, prominent transportation companies have hesitated to warn employees about the increased risk of working around gas fumes. This reluctance hides the mounting evidence that exposure could be harmful.

These risks could have been significantly reduced by warning employees and providing personal protective equipment.

Diesel Exhaust Cancer Lawyers

Cancer Link Discovered by the EPA

In 2002, the Environmental Protection Agency published the findings of an extensive study that indicated that employees exposed to diesel exhaust and fumes were at significant risk of developing lung cancer.

Key corporations within the transport truck industry pushed back with assertions that diesel technology changed over time and that the study only applied to older engines.

The EPA quickly rebutted those arguments by restating that the findings included risks associated with newer diesel motors.

These claims were later supported by a research study performed at Harvard and U.C Berkeley in 2009, where the records of over 31,000 workers were reviewed to determine if there was any conclusive correlation between diesel exposure and an elevated risk of lung cancer.

On average, the workers studied entered the industry in their mid-thirties and worked for an average of 22 years in a wide range of occupations.

Some of these jobs involve driving trucks, operating diesel-powered forklifts, performing maintenance on diesel engines, working as delivery drivers, or performing duties in the proximity of diesel-powered locomotives.

Over 4,300 workers died over 15 years between 1985 and 2000, and 779 developed lung cancer. The findings showed an undeniable connection between multiple health conditions that cause cancer and prolonged exposure to fuel exhaust.

Diesel Exhaust Cancer Lawyer Attorney

Other Industries Dependent upon Diesel Powered Machinery

Truck drivers, employees, and railroad workers whose job duties entail working around diesel engines could be at risk of the negative health impacts linked to diesel fume exposure.

While gas-fired motors are most prevalent in the transportation sector, construction workers, farmers, excavation workers, and anyone driving a diesel-powered vehicle could develop lung or heart-related illnesses if they remain exposed to diesel exhaust over a long period.

Workers who have been injured or the families of those who have died from conditions linked to fuel have multiple legal resources available to recover compensation.

All workers have absolute rights to submit a claim and receive worker's compensation benefits.

Some employees' duties require them to work with gas-powered gear. Over time, they could develop a health condition related to fume exposure. When this happens, their employers must provide compensation for the cost of medical treatment and a portion of the worker's wages during recovery.

Additional funds are available if the condition resulted in a disability or the worker's death.

A claim might be made that the employer failed to warn workers of a hazard or provide appropriate personal protective equipment to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. Anyone who has been injured can also file a lawsuit to recoup additional damages that can cover what their worker's comp benefits do not.

It is possible to secure punitive damages if a jury finds that the employer acted with complete disregard for its employees' health.

Diesel Exhaust Cancer Lawyer Attorneys

Diesel Fumes Exposure Injuries FAQs

Our law office knows you likely have lots of unanswered questions concerning filing and resolving a compensation claim.

Contact us today for more answers on how to seek justice and the benefits you deserve because of others' negligence.

Can Diesel Fumes Cause Lung Cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society, the exhaust used in most commercial engines, farm equipment, construction equipment, and trains creates toxic chemicals, including carbon dioxide, nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, sulfite oxides, hydrocarbons, and natural dioxide.

Diesel fuel is composed of different gases and soot particles that contain polycystic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The organization reviewed studies showing that exposure to diesel exhaust causes radical changes in the body’s DNA structure.

Protracted exposure to diesel exhaust has proven to cause lung cancer in lab rats and other animals. Studies are not conclusive that gas fumes can cause cancer in humans.

Can a Railroad Worker Develop Lung Cancer at Work?

Any employee working with and around diesel-powered engines is at an increased risk for developing deadly lung cancers and other horrific diseases. For years, the National Institutes of Health suspected that diesel exhaust is a lung carcinogen.

A study lasting nearly four decades from 1959 until 1996 reviewed lung cancer mortality rates of employees working on or around gas-powered and coal-fired locomotives, railroad workers, truck drivers, and equipment operators. Between that time, nearly 55,000 railroad workers were diagnosed with lung cancer, resulting in over 4300 deaths associated with the disease.

Is Breathing in Diesel Fumes Dangerous?

Short-term inhalation exposure to diesel engine fumes and exhaust is known to cause an allergic reaction or lung irritation leading to difficulty breathing, wheezing, and asthma. Long-term exposure may make any pre-existing asthmatic condition significantly worse.

Extreme diesel protracted exposure to gas fumes may produce asphyxiation caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. The fumes are likely carcinogenic to humans.

Is Diesel Fuel Bad for Your Health?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), acute (immediate) and chronic (repeated) exposure to diesel fumes through ingestion, inhalation, and dermal (skin)/ocular (eye) contact has been shown to produce adverse health effects.

Like other toxic chemicals, the length of time exposed to diesel fume exhaust could be extremely unhealthy. Short-term exposure to the skin can lead to eczema (dermatitis), where drinking or inhaling diesel could lead to life-threatening poisoning producing vomiting, headaches, and dizziness symptoms.

Limited evidence garnered from laboratory animal studies involving prolonged exposure to gas fuel and fumes has shown a correlation between gas fuel and cancer in humans.

Hire a Diesel Exhaust Injury Attorney to Resolve Your Workers' Compensation Case

The diesel exhaust attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC law firm can advise you on the merits of your case to proceed with filing and resolving a compensation claim.

Our legal team is a leader in representing the rights of injured workers and their families. Did you or a loved one develop a severe health condition due to prolonged exposure to diesel engine fumes?

Our law firm can help you secure the compensation that you may be entitled to under Illinois law and demand accountability from your employer for failing to properly communicate risks that have been well documented for over a decade.

Contact us today. Call us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) to schedule a free consultation with one of our award-winning Chicago diesel exhaust injury attorneys. After reviewing your case, our law firm can help you determine the most prudent course of action to take.

We believe that anyone who has been injured deserves access to quality legal representation. Our law firm provides all our clients with the promise never to demand attorneys' fees unless we can secure damages on your behalf.

All information you and your loved ones share with our personal injury lawyers remains confidential through an attorney-client relationship. Our Chicago law office currently follows CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Covid-19 guidelines on social distancing to maintain everyone's well-being.


Our practice areas include cases involving motor vehicle accidents, work-related injuries, premises liability, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, product liability, and wrongful death. Our attorneys currently represent injured clients throughout Illinois in Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, Peoria County, Sangamon County, Will County, Winnebago County, Aurora, Chicago, Joliet, and Schaumburg, and Waukegan.

Client Reviews
Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own. Ethan Armstrong
This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you. Daniel Kaim
Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan! Giulia
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa