Norfolk Southern Agrees to $600 Million East Palestine Settlement
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Norfolk Southern Agrees to $600 Million East Palestine Settlement

A settlement has been reached for the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment in 2023. Bryant Law Center, a Paducah, KY-based law office was part of the team of law firms that filed the class action lawsuit against the railway.

Norfolk Southern, a railway company, has agreed to pay $600 million in the class-action lawsuit. Norfolk Southern is a Class I freight railroad that has operated in the Eastern United States since 1827.

The railway carried 38 cars when it derailed on February 3, 2023. Multiple railcars piled up and spilled dangerous chemicals that caught fire and burned for days. 1,500 to 2,000 residents were evacuated from the area and roughly three days after the crash, officials blew open 5 tank cars that contained vinyl chloride, a toxic chemical, and burned it.

The CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) listed the following as signs and symptoms due to exposure to vinyl chloride: dizziness, ataxia, inebriation, fatigue, numbness and tingling of the extremities, visual disturbances, coma, and death.

More than a year after the crash people who live there continued to report respiratory problems and other symptoms such as rashes and nosebleeds. In addition to those short-term health issues, there were concerns about long-term health issues such as developing cancer or another serious illness.

The team of attorneys on the lawsuit relayed that the $600 million is set to pay residents and businesses in the area. However, it must still be approved by a court. Attorney and Bryant Law Center President, Mark Bryant said that while the amount is pending, it’s still not enough to hold companies like Norfolk Southern accountable.

“Until the railroad is held accountable – it’s all of them; it’s not just Norfolk Southern – but until our Congress requires that they do additional safety features on the railroads, we’re going to continue to have these problems,” Bryant said in The Paducah Sun article.

Norfolk Southern released a statement on the settlement agreement, saying it’s a promise “to make it right for the people of East Palestine and the surrounding communities.”

The Kentucky train accident lawyers of Bryant Law Center will continue to fight for those negatively impacted by train derailments.