(AP) Sheridan resident Edward Jolley was recently awarded $3.7 million in damages by a Montana jury. The 72-year-old engineer was suing the railroad company BNSF, a company he worked for from 1970 to 1999. He filed the lawsuit after he was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in 2006, a condition he attributed to years of inhaling diesel fumes, silicone dust, and asbestos while working for the company.
The jury found that BSNF violated federal regulations regarding the maintenance and operations of their locomotives, and this negligence resulted in Jolley's injuries. BSNF maintains working conditions with them did not cause his lung disease. Jolley's attorney says this damage award may be the largest against BNSF by a Montana jury, although he says Jolley did not ask for a specific amount of damages at the trial. The verdict by the 12 jurors was unanimous.