Lawyers are asking a federal judge in Youngstown to approve their proposal of who should be able to join a lawsuit filed against Norfolk Southern Railroad for damages caused by the February 3 train derailment in East Palestine and subsequent controlled burn of chemicals leaking from tank cars.

A team of attorneys appointed by U.S. District Judge Benita Pearson submitted a consolidated complaint on Thursday compiling the allegations and demands filed in 32 separate lawsuits filed since the derailment.

The complaint proposes that residents, property owners, employees, businesses, and agricultural businesses within a 30-mile radius of the derailment since February 3 should be permitted to join the class action.


In addition to East Palestine, a map of the proposed class region attached to the complaint includes communities such as Youngstown, Austintown, Niles, Hubbard, Boardman, Salem, Columbiana, and East Liverpool in Ohio, as well as Hermitage, New Wilmington, New Castle, Ellwood City Beaver Falls, Aliquippa, Beaver Falls, and Zelienople in Pennsylvania.

West Virginia's panhandle as far south as Weirton is also included in the proposed area.

The complaint alleging negligence and nuisance on the part of Norfolk Southern says the number included in the class is likely to be in the thousands who were exposed or had a property that was damaged by vinyl chloride and other toxic chemicals including dioxins, butyl acrylate, benzene, ethylene glycol mono butyl ether, Ethylhexyl acrylate, isobutylene, volatile and semi-volatile byproduct compounds, and other combustible materials.

The suit seeks damages for the destruction of vines, bushes, trees, crops, and plants as well as injury to animals.

It also wants a jury to order long-term medical monitoring for those injured because of the derailment and chemical burn.

The complaint criticizes Norfolk Southern for failing to preserve full surveillance video from the train cab by recording over it.

The consolidated complaint was submitted by attorneys Seth Katz of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine; M. Elizabeth Graham of Grant & Eisenhofer; Jayne Conroy of Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC and T. Michael Morgan of Morgan & Morgan.

Ron Dixon took this picture during Monday's controlled burn