ROANOKE TIMES, THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 1996
BY LAURENCE HAMMACK
A Roanoke jury has awarded $650,000 to three retired railroad employees who were exposed to asbestos while working in dust-filled shops throughout their careers with Norfolk Southern Corp.
This was the first time a Roanoke Circuit Court jury had decided such
Willard Moody, Jr., a Portsmouth lawyer who represented the men, said they were exposed to toxic dust that contained asbestos while working in the railroad’s East End and Shaffers Crossing Shops.
Norfolk Southern – corporate descendant of the Norfolk & Western Railway – has known of the danger of asbestos for half a century, Moody said.
But, he said, the railroad did nothing to warn or protect its workers from asbestosis, a life-threatening lung disease.
“They will never be the same and every breath they take will be a reminder of what the railroad did to them,” Moody said of his clients. Despite knowing that asbestos was dangerous, the railroad did not provide proper ventilation in buildings or give its workers protective gear, Moody said. “They did absolutely nothing,” he said.