After derailment, US state of Ohio sues railroad

After a derailment, the US state of the Ohio is suing the railroad company


The US state of Ohio on Tuesday began civil suits against the Norfolk Southern rail company after the derailment in early February of one of its trains containing chemicals, raising fears since of serious consequences environmental. 

“Ohio should not have to bear the incredible financial burden (resulting) from the gross negligence of Norfolk Southern,” Dave Yost said in a statement. Attorney General of this northern US state.

The lawsuit seeks to “hold Norfolk Southern financially responsible” for the derailment that took place in East Palestine on February 3 that “irresponsibly endangered the health of area residents, and the natural resources of Ohio. The statement said.

Norfolk Southern is charged in the complaint with 58 violations of various environmental laws, federal and Ohio, including defects on the train and the way which it was operated, but also for the release of chemicals into the air, river networks, and land belonging to communities.

This derailment caused a huge fire and some 2,000 evacuations. Among other things, the train was carrying vinyl chloride, a carcinogenic and highly flammable chemical used in the manufacture of plastic.

The railway authorities then carried out “controlled” releases of this vinyl chloride to avoid a possible explosion, releasing toxic fumes.

Some residents have since reported experiencing various symptoms, including headaches and rashes, and said they feared they could end up with cancer in a few years.

Authorities announced the last week a “special” investigation into Norfolk Southern’s “safety culture and practices” after several accidents.

“Norfolk Southern will clean up the site in a safe, thorough and urgent manner,” said promised Thursday its CEO before a Senate committee, recalling that the company had committed to disburse several million dollars for the region.

Referring to this promise, the attorney general of Ohio declared in its statement on Tuesday: “The complaint will ensure that Norfolk Southern keeps its word”.

Dave Yost asks that the company be held to pay damages, in particular on the loss of tax revenue caused by the derailment, and that it reimburse the current expenses and futures of Ohio to “prevent future harm to the environment and public health” and to “restore natural resources.”