East Palestine Train Lawsuit
Are You the Victim of the Ohio Railroad Disaster?
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Are You the Victim of the Ohio Railroad Disaster?
Dangerous Cargo and Neglected Railways Are Putting Citizens in Harm’s Way. We Can Help Fight Back.
Join us in our Community update on the impact of the Ohio train derailment this Saturday. Register Here.
A fiery derailment of a train carrying toxic chemicals along the Ohio-Pennsylvania border has put innocent civilians at risk.
Have you experienced illness or respiratory distress? You may be entitled to compensation for this unfortunate tragedy.
An escalation in train derailments has illuminated the public to what an Amtrak locomotive engineer has called “ineffective oversight and a largely self-monitoring industry that has cut the nation’s rail workforce to the bone in recent years as it puts record profits over safety.”
On February 3, 2023, about 50 cars, including 10 carrying hazardous materials, derailed in the Ohio village of East Palestine. No one was injured in the derailment that investigators said was caused by a broken axle.
Three days after the accident, authorities decided to release and burn vinyl chloride inside five tanker cars, sending hydrogen chloride and the toxic gas phosgene into the air, which can be deadly if inhaled.
If you live near the East Palestine area or if you or your loved ones have been affected by this unfortunate incident, please do not hesitate to contact Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to learn how we can help.
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An Ongoing Problem With American Railroads — Especially in the Ohio-Pennsylvania Area
The most recent railroad catastrophe was on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, where a train carrying vinyl chloride derailed and exploded. No one was killed in the deadly disaster, fortunately, but public health advocates are warning Americans everywhere that the potential for more deadly freight rail derailments remains a looming threat.
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The Pittsburgh region alone has seen eight train derailments over the last five years, according to the public health advocacy group Rail Pollution Protection Pittsburgh (RPPP)—and approximately 1,700 occur in the U.S. each year.
The causes of the Pittsburgh accidents by a multitude of factors: a crack in a track ignored by rail companies caused a 2018 derailment, another train hit a dump truck at a crossing with inadequate safety equipment, and a broken axle on a train car is thought to be the source of an accident in East Palestine.
These contributing factors are exacerbated by the increasingly dangerous cargo that the railroad is allowed to transport. 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.
In Pennsylvania specifically, nearly 50% of volatile crude oil refined on the East Coast currently runs through metro Pittsburgh, and about 176,000 citizens of Pittsburgh live in the derailment blast zone. And only more rail traffic is to come as a new Shell plastic plant comes online. However, the Pittsburgh area’s rail infrastructure, like tracks and bridges, is in a vulnerable state.
The threat of such deadly trains extends across the rest of the country as well. By one estimate, 25 million Americans live in an area considered to be an oil train blast zone, meaning they would be victimized by any accidents on their neighboring railways.
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 help you seek justice against those who knowingly placed you in harm’s way.
To learn more at no cost to you, contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
What Happened When the Train Derailed in Ohio?
A train carrying vinyl chloride derailed and exploded near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. Five days later, crews ignited a controlled burn of toxic chemicals to prevent a much more dangerous explosion. However, the controlled burn released phosgene and hydrogen chloride across the region. Phosgene is a highly toxic gas that can cause vomiting and breathing trouble and was used as a weapon in the first world war. Now local residents are being exposed to it.
Why Is So Much Hazardous Material Being Transported by Railway?
In 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) approved liquified natural gas, or LNG, to be shipped via rail with no additional safety regulations. Trains can now run 100 or more tank cars filled with 30,000 gallons of the substance, largely from shale fields to saltwater ports.
The decision, however, was opposed by local leaders, unions, fire departments, and the NTSB. Railway insiders have reported that the strongly opposed transport of these dangerous materials persists due in part to corporate greed and negligence by political leaders.
Are There Any Lawsuits About the Train Accident and the Controlled Burn?
Some residents have filed a federal lawsuit regarding the fiery derailment of the train carrying toxic chemicals along the Ohio-Pennsylvania line and are seeking to force Norfolk Southern to set up health monitoring for residents in both states.
The lawsuit filed late last week by two Pennsylvania residents calls for the rail operator to pay for medical screenings and related care for anyone living within a 30-mile, or 48-kilometer, radius of the derailment to determine who was affected by toxic substances released after the derailment.
The lawsuit also is seeking undetermined damages.
What Should I Do if I Was Impacted by the Accident?
It is always recommended that you first seek medical treatment for a full screening of your health. Communicate with your doctor if you were hurt or are experiencing any symptoms due to the inhalation of released toxins into the air. If a medical professional expresses concern, follow their advice for further treatment and contact a lawyer.
What Are the Symptoms Caused by Exposure to Phosgene and Hydrogen Chloride?
People exposed to phosgene and hydrogen chloride can experience a variety of symptoms, including vomiting, headaches, respiratory issues, coughing, burning of the throat and/or eyes, blurred vision, nausea, coughing, and watery eyes.
I Live Near the Site of a Train Wreck. Do I Have a Case?
If your life has been impacted by a nearby train accident, contact Morgan & Morgan immediately to learn more about your legal options. We are here to help at no upfront cost to you. Contact us now for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.