Four lawsuits allege negligence in Norfolk Southern derailment
Four class action negligence lawsuits have now been filed by residents and business owners who say they were impacted by last Friday’s fiery chemical train derailment in East Palestine.
Three complaints are before federal judges, the latest of which was filed on Thursday by Canton attorneys Plakas Mannos on behalf of Ray and Judith Hall of East North Avenue, East Palestine.
Similar to two previously filed class action complaints, the latest alleges negligence on the part of Norfolk Southern for the derailment of tanker cars carrying toxic Vinyl Chloride and other chemicals.
The subsequent fire resulted in an evacuation of homes and businesses in an area as far as two miles away from the crash site on East Taggart Street.
A fourth lawsuit has been filed in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court by attorney James Wise of East Palestine on behalf of Pamela Taas of Alice Street and the owners of Bird Dog Kennels and Stonybrook Kennels.
All four complaints are asking judges to declare the lawsuits class actions, which would allow other people impacted by the derailment to become plaintiffs. The suits estimate there could be anywhere from 1,000 to nearly 2,000 people who could be included in the class.
The lawsuits want the courts to order Norfolk Southern to pay damages, including any current or future medical costs for exposure to toxins. Two of the complaints estimate damages could exceed $5 million.
As the number of complaints multiply, it’s possible that the courts could eventually consolidate them into a single lawsuit if there are enough similarities.
As of Friday Norfolk Southern had not filed responses to any of the complaints.