HUNTINGTON - A former employee is suing Norfolk Southern Railway Company after he claims it is responsible for his non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma diagnosis.

Oscar Varney was employed by Norfolk from 1974 until 2011 and was subjected to significant amounts of occupational exposures to herbicides, pesticides, diesel fuel, diesel exhaust, ereosote, wood preservatives and other deleterious substances, according to a complaint filed April 8 in Cabell Circuit Court. He is represented by a firm headed by Pittsburgh attorney Robert Peirce, who is facing a fraud and racketeering verdict in West Virginia federal court.

Varney claims the defendant's negligence caused or contributed to his development of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

The plaintiff's injury was caused in whole or in part by the defendant's negligence due to the defendant's failure to provide him with a reasonably safe place to work; by negligently failing to provide Varney with reasonably safe working materials; by negligently failing to warn Varney of the dangerous and detrimental effects of the workplace toxins with they knew or should have known of the deleterious effects; and failed to take any effective action to reduce the level of toxins to which Varney was exposed, according to the suit.

Varney claims the defendants negligently failed to maintain a safe level of exposure to the toxins; failed to instruct him in regarding safe and sufficient apparel and proper protective equipment, appliances and breathing apparatus; and failed to take reasonable care to publish, adopt and enforce a safety plan and safe method for working with, in and near the toxins.

As a result of the defendant's negligence, Varney suffered physical pain and suffering; suffered nervous and emotional tension and anxiety; and caused him to be exposed to a significantly greater risk, according to the suit.

Varney is seeking compensatory damages. He is being represented by Robert F. Daley and D. Aaron Rihn of Robert Peirce & Associates PC.

In December, Robert Peirce and one of the partners in his old law firm were found by a jury to have conspired with a radiologist to fabricate asbestos claims in West Virginia. The jury's ruling resulted in a more than $400,000 verdict being entered in favor of CSX Transportation.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 13-C-232

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