An alarming number of children who live near CSX railroad yards have been diagnosed with a rare form of child cancer known as rhabdomyosarcoma, a disease that begins in muscles that are attached to bones that help the body move.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If your child or other loved one was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
What’s the Problem?
A handful of rare unexplained cancer diagnoses among children in Waycross, Georgia, and neighboring Brantley have ignited fears among residents that toxic pollutants from a nearby rail yard may be the cause of the diseases. Contaminants at the site have been reported to include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including “chlorinated solvents, paint waste,’’ according to Jim Brown, a Georgia Environmental Protection Division official.
CSX Rail Yard Suspected as Possible Cause of Child Cancer Cases
Smack dab in the middle of Waycross, Georgia, lies the sprawling Rice Yard complex, which is owned by railroad company CSX Transportation. The company installed a series of wells in empty fields throughout the complex to monitor an enormous spill of toxic chemicals that has been moving underground for decades. Environmental inspectors first ordered the site to be cleaned up in 1985, when they found a slew of contaminants including paint strippers and solvents that were being disposed of irresponsibly.
What is Rhabdomyosarcoma?
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), sarcomas are cancers that develop from connective tissues in the body (muscles, fat, bones, the linings of joints, blood vessels). There are many types of sarcomas. Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is made up of cells that normally develop into skeletal muscles.
Signs and symptoms of rhabdomyosarcoma may include:
- Tumor or mass that can be seen or felt
- Bleeding from the nose, vagina, rectum, or throat
- Tingling, numbness, pain, and problems with movement
- Protrusion of the eye / drooping eyelid
Treatment for rhabdomyosarcoma typically includes a combination of chemotherapy and surgery. Radiation may also be used when complete tumor resection has not been possible. Chemotherapy is indicated for all rhabdomyosarcoma patients, but the amount of chemotherapy and the duration of treatment varies depending on risk factors.
In patients with localized rhabdomyosarcoma, overall 5-year survival rates have improved to over 80% through a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. However, in patients with metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma, progress has been slower, with a 5-year survival rate of less than 30%.
Can it be Proven that Rail Yard Pollution Caused Rhabdomyosarcoma?
Cancer clusters are difficult to prove. One problem with establishing direct causation in particular cases is the huge overall incidence of cancer. The disease is currently the second-leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nationwide, cancer accounts for about 1 in 4 deaths.
Do I Have a Rhabdomyosarcoma Lawsuit?
The Workplace and Environmental Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in rhabdomyosarcoma lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if your child has a rare or unexplained cancer, and you live or previously lived in close proximity to a railroad yard, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.