Lawyers from Hagens Berman are filing lawsuits against Norfolk Southern after a train containing hazardous chemicals derailed. They have won litigation against tobacco companies in the past and secured $260 billion in payments to victims.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has authorized rail carrier Norfolk Southern Railway Company to be fined $70,000 a day for an accident that resulted in a chemical spill in Ohio. Michael Miguel, director of insurance claims law firm McKool Smith, told Insider on February 245.
The amount of the fine may increase due to tightening federal regulations for cleaning chemicals and a large number of lawsuits from residents of the affected East Palestine city of Ohio. The EPA says Norfolk Southern is responsible for transporting and spilling ultra-hazardous substances. Insurers may soon sue the company.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) submitted a report on the causes of the accident. It says that the wheel bearing of the wheelset of the train has overheated – up to 122 degrees. Because of this, 38 wagons derailed, 11 of them were carrying hazardous chemicals.
Lawyers believe Norfolk Southern harmed people through negligence
“We call things accidents. There are no accidents, every event can be prevented,” said Jennifer Homendy, head of the NTSB.
Norfolk Southern has pledged to comply with government requirements and has already paid the city $25,000. Those living within a radius of about 2 kilometers can receive 1,000 dollars in compensation.
Law firms Johnson and Johnson and Hagens Berman have already filed lawsuits alleging that Norfolk Southern harmed people through negligence. Management is obliged to pay compensation to people and cover medical expenses.
Nearly 20 train cars contained hazardous chemicals
Lawyers from Hagens Berman represented Ohioans in a 1998 lawsuit against major tobacco companies that ended in a $260 billion settlement.
“Writing a bunch of $1,000 checks won’t end Norfolk Southern’s obligations,” Miguel promised.
Accident in Ohio – train with hazardous substances derailed
The Norfolk Southern train, which included more than 100 cars, derailed on February 3 near the city of Eastern Palestine, Ohio. Nearly 20 wagons contained hazardous chemicals.
Rescuers had to release the contents of 5 tanks with vinyl chloride – this substance is used in the production of plastic. About 5 thousand people live in the city, some of them are already returning.
People are increasingly reporting strange smells and seeing dead animals. Hundreds of dead fish were seen in one of the rivers, and photos of dead dogs and foxes are published on social networks.
Experts are confident that it may take several months to accurately determine the causes of the disaster.
Focus has previously written about the negative health effects of PFAS chemicals on human health. A group of substances is part of the water-repellent coatings on fabrics, non-stick coatings on dishes and protective packaging on products.
PFAS, according to scientists, can cause diabetes, fertility problems, thyroid disease and various types of cancer.
The scientific publication Science Alert wrote that the accelerated melting of the Arctic ice leads to the leakage of more harmful chemicals.
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