Train Derailment and Accident Lawyer
We Have Recovered of Dollars in Compensation for Our Clients
Small Kentucky Law Firm. Nationwide Reputation for Results.
The Bryant Law Center since 2003 has represented and secured settlements for thousands of train derailment victims and evacuees in Tamaroa, IL, West Point, KY, Rockford, IL, and Mt Carbon, WV. We have also recovered settlements for business losses and residential and commercial property damage.
Maryville Tennessee Train Derailment
Working with a consortium of four law firms, the Bryant Law Center is currently involved in active litigation on behalf of hundreds of evacuees and dozens of injured parties from a 2015 CSX derailment in Maryville, TN. We are currently involved in a class action litigation over an August 2017 CSX derailment in Hyndman, PA, which led to a forced evacuation of approximately 1,000 people.
Tamaroa, IL Train Derailment
The Bryant Law Center along with the firm of Fayard and Honeycutt of Louisiana represented 500 Tamaroa, IL, residents and businesses impacted by the February 9, 2003, derailment of a northbound Canadian National freight train. A faulty rail joint caused 22 of the train’s 108 cars to leave the track. Four of the derailed cars released methanol, and the methanol from two of these four cars fueled a fire. Other derailed cars contained phosphoric acid, hydrochloric acid, formaldehyde, and vinyl chloride. Two cars containing hydrochloric acid, one car containing formaldehyde, and one car containing vinyl chloride released product but were not involved in the fire.
The entire town – about 850 residents – evacuated from the area within a 3-mile radius of the derailment, which included the entire village of Tamaroa. No one was injured during the derailment but residents were forced to stay away from their homes for up to a week and businesses were closed and some lost inventory. Chemicals had contaminated parts of the village and extensive testing and remediation followed. Residents and business owners filed suit against Canadian National in Illinois state court and the case was litigated for four years – including two times before the Illinois Supreme Court – before a confidential settlement was negotiated during mediation with the railroad and Erico Products Inc., which manufactured a chemical welding device used to maintain rails.
West Point, KY
The Bryant Law Center represented hundreds of residents of West Point, KY., who were driven from their homes after 12 cars of a Paducah and Louisville Railroad train derailed and caught fire on October 29, 2012. The entire community at the Hardin-Jefferson County line was evacuated. Another large explosion during the cleanup prolonged the evacuation. Some residents were out of their homes for a week and the town was forced to postpone Halloween.
After two years of litigation, a US District Judge Charles Simpson, in November of 2014 approved a $3.1 million dollar settlement for the class of victims who were designated as living within five miles of the derailment area. A special master identified all claimants using an address grid and checks were processed and delivered to clients just before Thanksgiving 2015 at West Point City Hall.
The settlement created three classes of participants based on if and when affected residents were ordered to evacuate or shelter in place. Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 participants are eligible to receive “ordinary benefits” of $1,353, $812, and $270, respectively for class compensation and $338, $203, and $67 for property damage. Affected residents who experienced damages or losses which would not be covered by ordinary benefits are eligible to apply for “extraordinary benefits” of up to $7,500.
The plaintiffs sued for nuisance, trespass, negligence, failure of duty to warn and strict liability on behalf of all residents located within a five-mile radius of the chemical spill, people subject to an evacuation or ordered to stay indoors and all businesses or commercial entities affected by the derailment.
A federal investigation determined a broken rail caused the derailment. The Bryant Law Center worked with Jones Ward PLC of Louisville and Fayard and Honeycutt PLC of Denham Springs, LA.
Mt. Carbon, West Virginia Train Derailment
The Bryant Law Center along with Fayard and Honeycutt of Louisiana, and West Virginia counsel P Rodney Jackson and Travis Griffith, are representing 470 people and businesses impacted by the derailment of a CSX Bakken crude oil train that derailed and burned February 16, 2015, along the Kanawha River near the communities of Mt. Carbon and Kimberly. The 107 car crude oil train was about 45 miles southwest of Charleston headed to Yorktown, Virginia when 26 cars derailed during a snowstorm and sub-freezing temperatures and 19 caught fire. For the next day, towering plumes of smoke and fire and explosions followed and forced the evacuation of approximately 1,000 people and orders for others to remain inside their homes. The intense fire disrupted electrical service and local utilities shut off water service because the accident drained in the river. Without power, pipes in many homes froze and burst. Roads were closed and many people were unable to work. The resulting fire also consumed a nearby house and vehicles and some plaintiffs alleged that their homes suffered cracks or structural damage from the explosions.
The Federal Railroad Administration determined that a problematic section of rail failed and cracked, causing the accident. The Bryant Law Center filed individual suits on behalf of the clients in Wayne County Circuit Court against CSX and Sperry Rail, which were moved to US District Court. Sperry Rail in mid 2017 reached a tentative confidential settlement with the plaintiffs. The litigation against CSX remains active.
You Don't Pay Anything Unless We Win
Do not continue to lose sleep agonizing over how you will deal with the financial devastation of a car accident. We are the small-town Kentucky law firm with a national reputation for success in injury cases. Our lawyers will sit down with you one-on-one during a free, no-commitment initial consultation to examine the details of your case.
We provide contingency fee representation. This means you pay nothing unless our attorneys obtain compensation for your injuries. Call or fill out our contact form to learn more.
Awards and Recognition
Were You a Victim of a Train Derailment?