- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Three former employees have sued BNSF Railway, claiming they suffer from lung disease caused by job-related exposure to asbestos.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Portland says the men had to work with and around items that contained asbestos while employed by the railway and its predecessor, Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs - Charles Anderson, Harold Gjerman and Gary Sachtjen - all spent at least 34 years in the industry before leaving in the first decade of the 21st Century.

Attorney Paul Bovarnick says BNSF was negligent in failing to provide the men with a reasonably safe place to work, and each of them seeks $300,000.

BNSF has faced similar lawsuits in recent years. A company spokesman, Gus Melonas, declined comment Wednesday afternoon.

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