LIRR sued for affects of second-hand smoke

Full story: Newsday

A former Long Island Rail Road conductor is suing the railroad for $10 million, claiming his cancer was caused by 14 years of exposure to second-hand smoke in designated smoking cars, which were banned by the ...
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81 - 100 of 120 Comments Last updated Jul 19, 2012
MRab2

London, UK

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#89
Jul 25, 2007
 
Justined wrote:
Yeah, Right. What about all the pollution from whatever fuel powered the train?
Give me a break. This guy, although I feel sorry for his illnesses, is grasping at straws.
Yeah, that blows my mind. ETS!?! The several hundred tonnes of diesel locomotive he rode in day in and day out isn't the more likely candidate.

I often wonder how many of the antis on here who demand smoking be removed from places they'll never set foot in then go on to stand in a RR station and suck up the considerably more dangerous (by orders of magnitude) fumes trains produce.
voice of reason

East Derry, NH

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#90
Jul 25, 2007
 
i hate the a-holes who smoke on the tracks now - everyday i see someone smoking on the tracks and i hope and pray some crazy homeless black will come along and push them on the tracks
Cornelius Earthling

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#91
Jul 25, 2007
 
Knot Althere wrote:
<quoted text>
Is this normal antismoker behavior?
I agree with you that it is not usual commentary , however a DISGUSTING habit like smoking which is damaging the health of non smokers and children alike needs to be addressed through the DENSE heads of smokers ,, emphasis has to be ponded into their clouded brains ,,,,, they simply refuse to get the message ,,
All Aboard

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#92
Jul 25, 2007
 
This is a most sad and complicated action. After reading the Newsday article on Mr. Hepburn naming the LIRR for the Cancer that has riddled him I say HUMBUG to all and this type of litigation is crap at best and will not suffer the MTA as a whole but the costs of this case will be settled on the noses and Pocket books of all NY'ers.
Most all Conductors that actually worked the trains (not the ones who skated by on their Laurels and BS) have some type of personal Malady from Carpal Tunnel to Leg,Back,Neck,Loss of Eyesight and Hearing to various Agents of Disease in all parts of our bodies.
One has to wonder with all the 'Chemicals' we were exposed to that we would actually have had a Union with enough backbone to stand up and argue/fight for their corrections.
I worked and retired as a Conductor for over 25 years.
When Smoking Cars actually became an issue of contention Ticket Collectors were never forced to work any particular train car and could explain it away in variious forms on their Cash Reports.
NOBODY I ever heard of was forced/ordered to work those cars.
I had friends who contracted maladies while working for the LIRR but no one could ever be sure the causes.
During my Tenure, Agent Orange was sprayed of 'Right of Way' to kill foliage, later Garlon IV was used. PCB's from the Engines and Grease pits, Train car/Personel Louges were sprayed for insect Manifestation often times while we were in them, Train Brakes were of an Asbestos product and the list goes on.
Yet, oddly enough, nobody ever destroyed their clothes or wrote out claims for new ones. I'll bet they washed them in their Wsahing machines at home to spread the wealth! How sad.
These are the same people that get in their cars (old or new) and sat with windows closed in Heat or Air conditioning inhaling all those hidden aromas. Sitting at a Traffic light with Truck, Car, Bus fumes engulfing us.
Imagine, that you in your own wisdom every day Poisons the Baby in the back seat.
Mr. Hepburn is one of those unfortuneates who has gotten sick.
I'll say a prayer for you.
I'm somewhat sure that I believe when I first met Mr Hepburn that he smoked. I'm also sure that some illegal substances were inhaled.
I would therefor request that a Lie detector test be given to ascertain the truth of this matter.
By the way I grew up in a Family where both my Parents smoked- no problem here.
Puzzled

Lynbrook, NY

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#93
Jul 25, 2007
 
Not that I seek to defend the LIRR, but they did reduce the number of smoking cars on its trains more than once in the 1970s and 1980s before eliminating them in 1988. Their reasons were fairly obvious: More seating for non-smokers (yay), cheaper to maintain non-smoking cars, more healthful environment for LIRR train crews. Smokers did not like this, of course. To me, it mitigates (but not necessarily eliminates) claims that they did not care about their employees. To me, this is a big difference from the situation with the flight attendants.
Knot Althere

New Lenox, IL

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#94
Jul 25, 2007
 
Cornelius Earthling wrote:
<quoted text> I agree with you that it is not usual commentary , however a DISGUSTING habit like smoking which is damaging the health of non smokers and children alike needs to be addressed through the DENSE heads of smokers ,, emphasis has to be ponded into their clouded brains ,,,,, they simply refuse to get the message ,,
While smoking is disgusting to you it is not to everybody. It may damage the health of nonsmokers and/or children. Then again it may not. I am a non but not an anti. But I see more rants and rhetoric from the antis than the pros.
Tickets please

Union City, NJ

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#95
Jul 25, 2007
 
I can tell you first hand from working with Dave for many years that he was an excellent Conductor and a good person. He never smoked and was always fit. He complained, like many of us, about the smoking cars for many, many years and went as far as to timeslip the company everytime he was made to work in them. there were a handful of employees who tried in vane for years to get rid of the smoking cars. Dave is not alone. There will be others.
Tom Gorman

Lindenhurst, NY

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#96
Jul 26, 2007
 
that sucks big balls
All Aboard

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#97
Jul 26, 2007
 
Hey Mike, more hate Mail!
Good to see you take care of your buddies in the responses. Are you only backing your buddies as before? or do you truly care about the ones who suffered before and after retirement!
I see you mentioned there will be more. How is it that you did not start a CLASS ACTION that would include others? Selfish before and the same now.
It must be nice to have access to all those records kept in the Union Hall for building this case,poor as it is.
Will those same records be available to ALL future cases or just for your friends?
What is your split from this? and please don't say you are a concerned citizen or have you changed. ONE FOR ALL or every man for himself?
We worked under archaic rules and regulations that rarely if ever changed and then the good old statement- submit a penalty Timecard for arbitration. The biggest Shame goes to the MTA for never addressing these concerns in all the years I worked on the property.

I guess Money Talks
Sheri

Cuyahoga Falls, OH

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#98
Jul 26, 2007
 
An interesting possibility exists in cases like these. In defending the case for the employer, my guess is that they will include the fact that the science of secondhand smoke causing any disease is junk and bogus. It may, as an ironic twist of fate, become the vehicle for exposing all who use and abuse science for the sake of their own agenda. I look forward to the courtroom drama. As in all cases like these, if the conditions were so deplorable, why did the employee continue to work there? I am sure that there was a job somewhere else that would have offered him both a living and protection.
In The Know

United States

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#100
Jul 27, 2007
 
Tickets please wrote:
I can tell you first hand from working with Dave for many years that he was an excellent Conductor and a good person. He never smoked and was always fit. He complained, like many of us, about the smoking cars for many, many years and went as far as to timeslip the company everytime he was made to work in them. there were a handful of employees who tried in vane for years to get rid of the smoking cars. Dave is not alone. There will be others.
I agree - there WILL be others.

The core of his case is that the LIRR had the opportunity to remedy the situation, had plenty of notice but did NOTHING.

Non-Smokers were forced to breathe smoke - and not just a little either, thick concentrated smoke.

The smoking cars were about as concentrated a smoke filled environment as possible. The Tar and deposits literally ruined and clogged the car ventilation systems.

The LIRR readily admits it save $600,000 in maintenance costs (in 1987 dollars) after it eliminated smoking cars.

If the level of smoke can ruin a ventilation system imagine what it does to a person.
Sheri

Cuyahoga Falls, OH

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#101
Jul 27, 2007
 
In The Know wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree - there WILL be others.
The core of his case is that the LIRR had the opportunity to remedy the situation, had plenty of notice but did NOTHING.
Non-Smokers were forced to breathe smoke - and not just a little either, thick concentrated smoke.
The smoking cars were about as concentrated a smoke filled environment as possible. The Tar and deposits literally ruined and clogged the car ventilation systems.
The LIRR readily admits it save $600,000 in maintenance costs (in 1987 dollars) after it eliminated smoking cars.
If the level of smoke can ruin a ventilation system imagine what it does to a person.
Just wondering...could the diesel fumes with their highly concentrated poisons have had anything to do with this man's illness? Were there any factors other than SHS that could have led to the disease? What a crock
SmokeFree

Parlin, NJ

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#102
Jul 27, 2007
 
In The Know wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree - there WILL be others.
The core of his case is that the LIRR had the opportunity to remedy the situation, had plenty of notice but did NOTHING.
Non-Smokers were forced to breathe smoke - and not just a little either, thick concentrated smoke.
The smoking cars were about as concentrated a smoke filled environment as possible. The Tar and deposits literally ruined and clogged the car ventilation systems.
The LIRR readily admits it save $600,000 in maintenance costs (in 1987 dollars) after it eliminated smoking cars.
If the level of smoke can ruin a ventilation system imagine what it does to a person.
AGREE 100%, State and Federal Health Departments have known for years the harmful effects of Second hand smoke and did absolutely nothing. Now its time to pay the Fiddler. Need to raise the cigarette tax $10 more to pay for all the class action lawsuits that will follow. I told you all this would happen but you acted like I was screaming "the sky is falling" who is screaming now??? The Smokers!!!
31 years

Bronx, NY

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#103
Jul 27, 2007
 
All Aboard wrote:
Hey Mike, more hate Mail!
Good to see you take care of your buddies in the responses. Are you only backing your buddies as before? or do you truly care about the ones who suffered before and after retirement!
I see you mentioned there will be more. How is it that you did not start a CLASS ACTION that would include others? Selfish before and the same now.
It must be nice to have access to all those records kept in the Union Hall for building this case,poor as it is.
Will those same records be available to ALL future cases or just for your friends?
What is your split from this? and please don't say you are a concerned citizen or have you changed. ONE FOR ALL or every man for himself?
We worked under archaic rules and regulations that rarely if ever changed and then the good old statement- submit a penalty Timecard for arbitration. The biggest Shame goes to the MTA for never addressing these concerns in all the years I worked on the property.
I guess Money Talks
What do you have to be so bitter about.You're slice of the pie wasn't big enough??Or did you lose a big lawsuit against them????I hope Dave beats them and you should be careful who you bad mouth on here with no proof or it is not any of your business anyway/
Sue to stop smoking

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#104
Jul 29, 2007
 
SmokeFree wrote:
<quoted text>
AGREE 100%, State and Federal Health Departments have known for years the harmful effects of Second hand smoke and did absolutely nothing. Now its time to pay the Fiddler. Need to raise the cigarette tax $10 more to pay for all the class action lawsuits that will follow. I told you all this would happen but you acted like I was screaming "the sky is falling" who is screaming now??? The Smokers!!!
So true. All of those restaurants and bars that have continued to allow smoking will be next. It will not only be employees, but it will also be customers who sat in the no smoking section and continued to breathe in smoke. Not only will cutomers with cancer sue, but also those customers with breathing difficulties will sue. Someone has a heart attack in a non smoking section of a restaurant that allows smoking will be in line to sue. A child with an asthma attack will sue. Pretty soon the insurance companiew will not insure a restuarant or bar that allows smoking because of the huge liabilities that are involved.
What it boils down to is if you own a business and you allow smoking, you could stand to lose everything because you listened to the smokers for too long. Look at how they have flocked away from bars and restaurants after bans. Does anybody really think they will support you financially when you are sued?
Sue to stop smoking

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#105
Jul 29, 2007
 
Sheri wrote:
<quoted text>
Just wondering...could the diesel fumes with their highly concentrated poisons have had anything to do with this man's illness? Were there any factors other than SHS that could have led to the disease? What a crock
It is not a crock. This lawsuit is the tip of the iceberg. More and more smoke related suits are coming and they will be against the very places that smokers have been smoking in for years. The local bars and restaurants. Heart attacks, asthma and all sorts of other illnesses have been linked to smoking. A heart attack that occured a short time after exposure to smoke or an astma attack that occured after exposure to smoke are all portential lawsuits. Those are lawsuits from customers. Long term employees will also be suing on a more regular basis. Crock or not, pretty soon you will not be able to get insurance on a smoking establishment.
Sue to stop smoking

AOL

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#106
Jul 29, 2007
 
Sheri wrote:
An interesting possibility exists in cases like these. In defending the case for the employer, my guess is that they will include the fact that the science of secondhand smoke causing any disease is junk and bogus. It may, as an ironic twist of fate, become the vehicle for exposing all who use and abuse science for the sake of their own agenda. I look forward to the courtroom drama. As in all cases like these, if the conditions were so deplorable, why did the employee continue to work there? I am sure that there was a job somewhere else that would have offered him both a living and protection.
I am sure that the people suing the LIRR are not stupid. They will use the same documents that were allowed in the flight attendants cases that will show, conclusively, that big tobacco knew about the effects of second hand smoke for years. When they look at the maintenance records on the smoking cars, that will be another nail in the coffin. Since it has been documented for years that smoking does cause physical illness, I do not see where LIRR has much of a chance at success. They knowing put their employees at risk. You really should take the time to read big tobacco's own documents about cigarette smoke before you jump to conclusions that it is harmless ande "junk science".
Sheri

Cuyahoga Falls, OH

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#107
Jul 29, 2007
 
Sue to stop smoking wrote:
<quoted text>
I am sure that the people suing the LIRR are not stupid. They will use the same documents that were allowed in the flight attendants cases that will show, conclusively, that big tobacco knew about the effects of second hand smoke for years. When they look at the maintenance records on the smoking cars, that will be another nail in the coffin. Since it has been documented for years that smoking does cause physical illness, I do not see where LIRR has much of a chance at success. They knowing put their employees at risk. You really should take the time to read big tobacco's own documents about cigarette smoke before you jump to conclusions that it is harmless ande "junk science".
http://www.scientificintegrityinstitute.org/d... certain to appear in court.
Sheri

Cuyahoga Falls, OH

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#108
Jul 29, 2007
 
Sue to stop smoking wrote:
<quoted text>
It is not a crock. This lawsuit is the tip of the iceberg. More and more smoke related suits are coming and they will be against the very places that smokers have been smoking in for years. The local bars and restaurants. Heart attacks, asthma and all sorts of other illnesses have been linked to smoking. A heart attack that occured a short time after exposure to smoke or an astma attack that occured after exposure to smoke are all portential lawsuits. Those are lawsuits from customers. Long term employees will also be suing on a more regular basis. Crock or not, pretty soon you will not be able to get insurance on a smoking establishment.
and they will all be a piece of cr@@ as people try to cash in on a nonexistent danger. You will also see the SCIENCE of secondhand smoke debunked in these trials as it has been already in the Osteen decision. Then, your bans and your sue happy idiots will go away...WITHOUT their money.
Sue to stop smoking

AOL

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#109
Jul 29, 2007
 
Sheri wrote:
<quoted text>
http://www.scientificintegrityinstitute.org/d... certain to appear in court.
Unlikely as it is easily rebutted. Good thing for LIRR you are not on their team.

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