Ohio Demanding Money in Lawsuit Against Norfolk Southern, Derailment was ‘Entirely Avoidable’

The state of Ohio brought a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern, the rail company involved in the recent train disaster in East Palestine. It created a chaotic chemical fallout in the area, and residents continue to suffer weeks after the February 3 incident.

The lawsuit contended that Norfolk Southern should be held financially liable for the derailment, and it maintained that the accident was “entirely avoidable” and the result of executives neglecting the “welfare of the communities in which Norfolk Southern operates.”

“Ohio shouldn’t have to bear the tremendous financial burden of Norfolk Southern’s glaring negligence,” Attorney General Dave Yost (R-OH) said in a statement. “The fallout from this highly preventable incident may continue for years to come, and there’s still so much we don’t know about the long-term effects on our air, water and soil.”

A known human carcinogen used to manufacture PVC, vinyl chloride, was released amid a controlled burn from the five train cars.

Analysts from Texas A&M University and Carnegie Mellon University announced that nine of the 50 chemicals the EPA said were present on the derailed train have higher concentrations than normal in East Palestine. This is after state and federal officials said that air and water supplies were safe.

The lawsuit also reported that accident rates for Norfolk Southern have doubled over the past decade and involved at least 20 chemical releases since 2015.

State officials are demanding reimbursement for all response costs “incurred and to be incurred” as a result of the disaster.

“The state of Ohio is the owner in trust of public lands, waters, and resources within its political boundaries and has a duty to protect and preserve those natural resources,” the lawsuit continued. “Ohio brings this action to redress the derailment and the resulting contamination of Ohio’s natural resources, which has caused significant damage and poses a significant ongoing threat to Ohio’s natural resources and the citizens of Ohio.”