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Is Ohio River Water Safe?

On February 3, 2023, a train derailed near the town of East Palestine, Ohio. The Norfolk Southern train derailment involved around 50 railcars. 

Some of these cars were carrying a toxic chemical called vinyl chloride—a compound used primarily to produce polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC is a common plastic material used in a variety of applications, including construction materials, piping, electrical cables, and medical devices. 

Vinyl chloride can also function as an intermediate in the production of other chemicals, including chlorinated solvents found in various industrial processes.  

However, the use of vinyl chloride in these applications has declined due to concerns about its toxicity and potential health effects. Vinyl chloride is a hazardous substance, and exposure to high concentrations can cause serious health effects. 

When the Norfolk train derailed, significant amounts of vinyl chloride and other toxic contaminants poured into the Ohio River. Other types of pollutants were released into the air near the crash.  

This terrifying mishap has left many people wondering, “Is Ohio River water safe?” Agencies in several states are currently exploring the safety of the water in the Ohio River. 

If you believe that you have suffered harm because of the Norfolk Southern train derailment, you should speak with a legal professional promptly. One of the skilled attorneys at Morgan & Morgan will determine the validity of your case.  

We will not rest until you receive the compensation you are entitled to as a victim. Complete the form on the Morgan and Morgan website to schedule a free consultation. 

Outcomes of the Train Derailment in East Palestine, Ohio

Many residents near the train crash were concerned about their water quality afterward. 

One of the contaminants that spilled into the Ohio River is known as butyl acrylate. This chemical is a clear, colorless liquid with a distinctive fruity odor. It is a member of the family of acrylate monomers, which are used to make polymers and copolymers. 

Butyl acrylate regularly serves as a component in the production of homopolymers and copolymers. These compounds are useful in the manufacturing of coatings, adhesives, sealants, and textiles. 

Butyl acrylate is highly flammable and can pose health hazards when inhaled or ingested. This is because it can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. It’s important to take safety precautions while handling, storing, or transporting the chemical. 

The Norfolk Southern train derailment resulted in large amounts of butyl acrylate filtering into the Ohio River. Over five million U.S. citizens source their drinking water from the Ohio River. 

This chemical spill has the potential to affect larger cities in the region, including Cincinnati and Louisville. Numerous smaller communities could suffer as well. 

If you believe that you have sustained damage as the result of the Norfolk Southern rail accident, reach out to Morgan & Morgan today.

Is Ohio River Water Safe to Drink in My Area?

Local water utility agencies are monitoring the situation regarding the safety and potability of water from the Ohio River. It is critical to ensure that people do not ingest any meaningful amounts of the toxins that spilled in the derailment. Doing so could result in long-term, consequential health conditions. 

For example, drinking butyl acrylate can cause the following medical concerns:

Gastrointestinal Problems

Drinking butyl acrylate can cause victims to suffer serious gastrointestinal issues. The victim’s digestive system may become seriously inflamed or irritated, resulting in the following symptoms: 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain  

If you have suffered these signs or symptoms and you live in an area affected by this train derailment, speak with a medical professional. You may be owed significant compensation if another party’s negligence caused the physical harm you are experiencing.

Eye and Skin Irritation

When people come into contact with butyl acrylate, they may experience significant eye and skin irritation. The effects of this contaminant on a victim’s skin can include: 

  • Blisters
  • Irritation
  • Redness  

If water containing butyl acrylate gets in a person’s eyes, they can suffer: 

  • Redness
  • Severe discomfort and irritation
  • Blindness—in extreme cases 

These medical issues can cause victims to miss work, accumulate medical bills, and experience other negative consequences. Do not allow a negligent party to go unaccountable for this type of physical and financial damage.

Central Nervous System Issues

Drinking butyl acrylate and other contaminants can cause long-lasting damage to victims’ central nervous systems. These outcomes can be life-changing and devastating. 

Some of the resulting nervous system effects caused by ingesting butyl acrylate include: 

  • Loss of coordination
  • Recurring headaches
  • Confusion and cognitive deficiencies
  • Persistent dizziness and loss of balance

No matter what medical issues you have developed as a result of the Norfolk Southern train crash spill, it is critical to seek care. A medical professional will provide you with an accurate diagnosis and help you secure the care you need. 

It’s also important to speak with a legal professional as soon as you can. You may be entitled to significant financial compensation for the losses you experienced.

Claims Against Norfolk Southern

Victims of the Norfolk Southern train derailment may have valid claims for financial damages. This will depend on the nature of the harm they sustained.  

The health impacts of the spill are unknown so far. However, those who develop long-lasting and costly medical issues may be entitled to compensation. 

Skyrocketing medical bills should not be the responsibility of the victims. Instead, any negligent party responsible for their costs and losses should compensate those affected. 

The specific medical costs from butyl acrylate ingestion will depend on the severity of the exposure and the resulting health effects. If a victim’s exposure is minimal, the medical costs may be relatively low. However, significant exposure could result in severe symptoms and substantial medical bills. 

For example, suppose someone ingests butyl acrylate as a result of drinking Ohio River water after the Norfolk Southern train derailment. In this case, they may need emergency medical treatment to curb the resulting effects.  

This may include gastric lavage, administration of activated charcoal, or other costly medical treatments. The victim may also require monitoring for a period to ensure their recovery.  

The cost of these interventions can be significant, and victims deserve justice. Other medical expenses from this type of injury typically include bills from: 

  • Hospitalization
  • Ambulance rides
  • Emergency room visits
  • Prescription medication
  • Follow-up care 

If the ingestion of dangerous chemicals leads to long-term health effects such as respiratory or neurological damage, the victim may need ongoing care. They may also require medication and rehabilitation. 

The total cost will depend on the individual circumstances and can vary widely. When victims of corporate negligence suffer significant medical bills, they should not have to bear the costs.  

Fortunately, the accomplished legal specialists and Morgan & Morgan know how to effectively recover the money our clients are due. When you speak with a member of our team, we will help you determine the best path forward.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

Morgan & Morgan

  • Did the Norfolk Southern Derailment Affect Those in East Palestine?

    Yes. In the days following the train derailment, people in East Palestine, Ohio, faced significant threats to their health. Because of this, many residents were evacuated to the surrounding areas. 

    Therefore, the negative outcomes of this preventable disaster also involved economic damages to those communities affected. Many of East Palestine’s residents were negatively impacted by the need to evacuate their city. 

    Those whose negligence caused the derailment and subsequent chemical spill should be held accountable for causing millions of people to ask, “Is Ohio River water safe?”

  • How Long Should I Wait to Contact Morgan & Morgan?

    If you believe that the Norfolk Southern train derailment caused you financial or personal harm, do not wait. Reach out to a legal specialist at Morgan & Morgan now. 

    Claims against negligent corporations take time. Because of this, it is vital to begin the process of financial recovery as quickly as possible. 

    The time limit for filing a tort claim against negligent companies is known as the statute of limitations. The duration of this legal time period differs from state to state.  

    However, victims of corporate carelessness should secure legal counsel as soon as possible. When you hire Morgan and Morgan to represent you, we will ensure that your claim moves as quickly as possible.  

    Failing to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations has expired will result in the dismissal of your case. Avoid this outcome by consulting with the personal injury lawyers at Morgan and Morgan today.

  • What Are Punitive Damages, and Why Do They Matter?

    Punitive damages are a type of monetary payment awarded in a civil lawsuit. These payments go beyond compensating the plaintiff for their actual losses or harm caused by the defendant’s conduct.  

    Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for their wrongful conduct. This category of damages also helps to deter others from engaging in similar negligent behavior. 

    Compensatory damages are awarded to compensate the claimant for their actual losses and can include payments for medical expenses, lost income or wages, and emotional distress.  

    Unlike compensatory payments, punitive damages are not calculated in relation to the actual harm suffered by the victim. Instead, these payments are intended to punish the defendant for their extreme carelessness. 

    Punitive damages are usually awarded in cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious, intentional, or reckless. For instance, if a company knowingly sold a defective product that caused harm, a court may award punitive damages to punish them. This may discourage other companies from engaging in similar conduct.

  • What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?

    A class action suit is a type of legal claim where a group of individuals who suffered similar harm sue the at-fault party as a group. In a class action lawsuit, a representative plaintiff files a lawsuit on behalf of the entire group, known as the class. 

    The main purpose of a class action lawsuit is to provide an efficient way for a large group of victims to seek compensation for the losses caused by a defendant’s actions. Plaintiffs often file class action suits in cases where corporate negligence caused damage to them. 

    The lawyers at Morgan & Morgan have plenty of experience handling the intricacies of class action lawsuits. 

  • Morgan and Morgan Will Fight for You

    If you have suffered medical or financial damage because of the Norfolk Southern train derailment, do not wait. Reach out to the friendly staff at Morgan & Morgan to find out about your options.  

    We believe every victim of corporate negligence deserves justice. Schedule your free consultation today by completing our firm’s online contact form

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