Livingston Train Derailment Lawsuit
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Livingston Train Derailment Lawsuit
Thanksgiving plans were canceled for many of the local residents in Livingston, Kentucky—and now their health may also be on the line. On November 22, 2023, a nearby train derailment caused a chemical spill that further sparked a deadly fire releasing poisonous gases. Residents were forced to evacuate their homes as responders controlled the fire and cleaned the area.
Train derailments can happen for a myriad of reasons, but many accident triggers can be traced back to simple negligence. If you or your loved ones were put in harm’s way because of the Livingston train derailment, don’t let the negligent parties get away with it—especially when you may be entitled to compensation.
Morgan & Morgan has more than 35 years of experience fighting For the People with personal injury cases, including cases involving train derailments. We have recovered more than $15 billion in compensation for our clients by winning favorable lawsuits and negotiating settlements, and we may be able to help you, too.
Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to learn more about your legal options.
About the Livingston Train Derailment Lawsuit
Local residents of Livingston, Kentucky were planning a typical holiday celebration with their loved ones when an unforeseen train derailment put their lives into jeopardy.
The CSX train derailed on November 22 around 2:30 p.m. near Livingston, a small, remote town of only about 200 residents. Two of the 16 cars that derailed were carrying molten sulfur, which caught fire after the cars were breached. Residents were soon after encouraged to evacuate for their safety.
CSX said the cause of the derailment and what caused the sulfur to ignite are still under investigation, while officials said they are also monitoring water quality in the area.
Sulfur is typically transported in liquid molten form, and exposure to it can be extremely hazardous. Molten sulfur is also extremely flammable, and when it ignites, poisonous gases such as sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide can be produced.
According to the American Lung Association, exposure to sulfur dioxide can cause serious respiratory issues, such as shortness of breath, and long-term exposure can be especially hazardous to children, the elderly, and those with asthma.
Approximately 1,700 train derailments occur in the U.S. each year, and many times these accidents include the spilling of hazardous materials.
Train derailments can occur due to a multitude of factors: a crack in a track, a crossing with inadequate safety equipment, a broken axle on a train car, and other factors can all trigger a catastrophic event.
These contributing factors are further exacerbated when dangerous cargo is on board. About 4.5 million tons of toxic chemicals are shipped by rail each year, and an average of 12,000 rail cars carrying hazardous materials pass through cities and towns each day, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Ron Kaminkow, an Amtrak locomotive engineer, stated that “ineffective oversight and a largely self-monitoring industry that has cut the nation’s rail workforce to the bone in recent years has put record profits over safety.”
Morgan & Morgan has been fighting For the People for over 35 years, and we don’t stand down when negligent parties put profit over people. If you or your loved ones were affected by this preventable catastrophe, reach out to Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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What Happened With the Train Derailment in Livingston, Kentucky?
A train derailed and spilled chemicals in Livingston, Kentucky on on November 22, prompting officials to warn residents of a small town to evacuate.
In a news release, railroad operator CSX said that the derailment occurred a little before 2:30 p.m. local time north of Livingston and involved at least 16 cars. Two cars containing sulfur were "breached" and some of the sulfur caught fire, CSX said, indicating that sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide gas were being released into the air.
What Are the Health Affects Caused by Exposure to Sulfur Dioxide or Hydrogen Sulfide?
Exposure to either sulfur dioxide or hydrogen sulfide can result in various health issues, including:
- Skin and eye irritation
- Nausea and vomiting
- Lung cancer
- Reproductive issues
- Lung irritation and asthma-like symptoms
- Heart disease
- Respiratory issues
What Are Other Issues the Kentucky Train Derailment Could Have Caused?
It is not immediately clear how extensive the spill was or what impact it might have on the environment in the remote area. Officials said they are also monitoring air and water quality in the area but are keeping residents out until further evidence arrives.
What Should I Do if I Am a Victim of the Kentucky Train Derailment?
If you or a loved one were affected by the Kentucky train derailment, you should follow a series of steps right after the derailment to ensure your health and improve your case for seeking compensation.
Receive Medical Care
Exposure to the poisonous gases of a sulfur fire can pose serious hazards to your health. If exposed to the surrounding air of such an accident, you should seek medical care immediately. If you sustain less serious injuries, you should eventually have your injuries diagnosed and treated if you plan to file an insurance claim and/or a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.
Contact a Class Action Attorney From Morgan & Morgan
You may need an advocate to counter the legal team representing the railway company. Your attorney reviews two case reports, with the first report coming from the law enforcement agency that responded to the train derailment. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issues the formal report presented by the federal government. Both reports should contain information that describes the cause of the train derailment, as well as the extent of the damage. The class action attorney that you work with from Morgan and Morgan also helps you file a persuasive insurance claim to recover financial losses.
Contact Your Insurance Company
You should contact your insurance company after you meet with a personal injury lawyer from Morgan & Morgan. Far too many insurance companies take advantage of policyholders who don’t retain legal representation. If you do not hire a personal injury attorney before you contact your insurance company, your insurance company might try to get you to sign a waiver that reduces their financial obligations. Filing an insurance claim without the legal support of a personal injury attorney also can lead to the denial of a valid claim or the approval of a claim that is valued well below what you deserve in compensation.
What Are the Types of Compensation Awarded in a Trail Derailment Case?
If your personal injury attorney discovers another party committed one or more acts of negligence, you might receive up to three types of compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Also referred to as special compensatory damages, economic damages cover the tangible costs associated with your case. Economic damages cover the costs of diagnostic tests, treatment programs, and physical therapy sessions. You also have the right to request compensation to cover the costs of prescription medications or even displacement costs, such as hotel and travel expenses you incurred when forced to evacuate your home. Your attorney also totals the value of property damage, which includes damage to your car and/or home. If you missed time from work because of your injuries, you also should request compensation for lost wages.
Non-economic damages cover costs that are not easy to measure, such as pain and suffering. Victims of catastrophic events like train derailments frequently develop the symptoms that are associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD can develop debilitating symptoms that irrevocably destroy personal and professional relationships. Your personal injury attorney calculates a fair value for non-economic damages by using a formula that factors in the value of economic damages.
High-profile lawsuits such as the class actions taken against Norfolk Southern Railway can generate punitive damages that exceed the combined value of economic and non-economic damages. Punitive damages do not cover the cost of your financial losses. Instead, judges award punitive damages to punish the defendant for committing one or more acts of negligence, as well as deterring the defendant from committing the same acts of negligence again.
Should I File a Lawsuit for the Kentucky Train Derailment?
Train derailments can occur due to a multitude of factors: a crack in a track, a crossing with inadequate safety equipment, a broken axle on a train car, and other factors can all trigger a catastrophic event. These contributing factors are even further exacerbated when dangerous cargo is on board.
If this dangerous mix of volatile cargo and neglected railroads has affected you or your loved ones, do not hesitate to contact Morgan & Morgan, the nation’s largest personal injury law firm, to see how a class action attorney can help.
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