Asbestos: SNCF ordered to compensate 119 former railway workers

Julien Sarboraria The SNCF was ordered last week by the Paris Court of Appeal to compensate 119 former railway workers for prejudice of anxiety, after exposure to asbestos on their workplace, AFP learned on Tuesday 16 December with their lawyer. The court ordered the SNCF to pay 09. 000 euros in damages “in compensation for the prejudice of anxiety” to each of these 119 ex-employees, “all retirees now,” Me Xavier Robin told AFP, confirming information from the Norman media Le Poulpe and the SUD-Rail union. Asked by AFP, the SNCF replied that it would not make “any comment on this subject”

There is “119 favorable and identical decisions “, in” similar cases “, and” 57 unfavorable judgments “for files which had “not been sufficiently supported with testimonies of relatives or colleagues”, explained the lawyer. These former railway workers “mainly worked in maintenance, in workshops,” he said. This procedure was started “in 1980 before the industrial tribunal “, he added.

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In 2019, the court had rendered a first decision in favor of another ex- employee, condemning the SNCF to pay him “7. euros “in damages,” Robin reported. The court then “forgot to hear the other cases,” he said. In the case judged in 2013, the group railway had not appealed to cassation, said the lawyer. At the start of the procedure, there was “144 files “, but since” some employees have died and others have given up “, according to Dominique Malvaud, of SUD-Rail.

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In one of 119 judgments delivered on 16 December, consulted by AFP, the court notes that the former employee concerned “worked on materials containing asbestos, brushing or cutting”. The prejudice of anxiety is “established” and it is about an “effective anxiety”, underlines the court. Hired in 1980, this former agent technique worked “throughout his career” in an equipment maintenance workshop in Rouen, according to the judgment. “Former colleagues” of work were “reached” or are “for some died of diseases linked to exposure to asbestos”, adds the court. This complainant, who provided “the testimony of his relatives”, is “the subject of regular radiological monitoring in a difficult context, since the link between exposure to asbestos and the development of cancer is apparent to him. known “, notes the court.

Against the SNCF, the court held a “contractual fault”, because the company “does not demonstrate to have made available to its employee suitable protective equipment, or even to have informed him of the dangers he could incur “. However the employer must “ensure the safety and protect the physical and mental health” of its employees, recalls the court. In a press release, the SUD-Rail federation believes that this judgment “does not put an end to the asbestos problem” at the SNCF, where “even today, there are serious breaches of safety obligations”, accuses the union. Receive our latest news Every morning, the information to remember about financial markets.