Is the Water in Cincinnati Safe?

Is the Water in Cincinnati Safe?

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Is the Water in Cincinnati Safe?

In February 2023, a Norfolk Southern train derailed near East Palestine, Ohio. The train wreck resulted in dangerous contaminants and toxins spilling into the air and water. 

The derailment occurred upriver from several major cities, including Cincinnati. The influx of contaminants into the Ohio River has left hundreds of thousands of people wondering, “Is the water in Cincinnati safe?” 

Many of the chemicals on the Norfolk Southern train are used in the manufacturing of plastics. Examples of the chemicals on the train include vinyl chloride and butyl acrylate. These compounds are also used to make medical devices, automotive components, and household cleaners. 

Vinyl chloride is an invisible gas critical when manufacturing polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is highly toxic and potentially carcinogenic. Because of this, many people were concerned about this gas igniting and dispelling as a result of the Norfolk Southern train derailment. 

Butyl acrylate is a colorless liquid that can cause significant health issues when ingested. Additionally, this chemical can produce other toxins as it breaks down. 

Some people in Cincinnati are concerned about the potential public health ramifications of the train crash. If you believe you have been harmed as a result of the Norfolk Southern train derailment, you may be owed compensation. 

Reach out to the skilled team at Morgan & Morgan to review the facts of your claim. Complete our online contact form today to set up a free consultation.

Understanding Butyl Acrylate

One of the most concerning facts about the Norfolk Southern derailment is the spillage of butyl acrylate into the Ohio River. More than five million Americans rely on this river for their potable water.  

Butyl acrylate is an ester of acrylic acid and butanol. It is a colorless liquid with a characteristic fruity scent.  

This toxic chemical is a building block for polymers and is commonly used in the production of various types of polymers, including: 

  • Latexes
  • Copolymers
  • Acrylic resins 

Acrylic resins made from butyl acrylate can be found in coatings, adhesives, and inks. Latexes made from butyl acrylate are used in the production of paints, coatings, and sealants.  

Copolymers of butyl acrylate with other monomers can also be used in coatings, adhesives, and other applications. While this compound has a wide range of uses, exposure to the liquid can result in significant health issues. 

The Dangers of Butyl Acrylate Exposure

Exposure to butyl acrylate can be dangerous. The level of danger depends on the extent and duration of exposure.  

Inhalation of butyl acrylate vapor can cause respiratory irritation, including coughing and shortness of breath. Other signs of butyl acrylate vapor inhalation can include: 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches 

Prolonged or repeated exposure may cause damage to the respiratory system, liver, and kidneys.  

Skin contact with butyl acrylate can result in irritation, dermatitis, and skin sensitization. Victims may also experience visual irritation and possible corneal injury upon contact with the eyes. 

It is critical to speak with a medical care provider if you believe that you have ingested this dangerous contaminant. 

The Norfolk Southern train derailment has left many communities along the Ohio River worried about the safety of their drinking water. Some of the towns close to the initial spill were temporarily evacuated to avoid further public health issues. 

If you have been financially or personally harmed by this accident, reach out to Morgan & Morgan today. 

Our tort attorneys have decades of experience holding negligent corporations responsible. When a company’s carelessness results in damage to victims, the injured parties may have a viable legal claim for compensation.

What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?

In response to the Norfolk Southern train derailment, many victims have decided to pursue class action lawsuits. This type of legal claim is possible when many victims suffer the same types of harm as the result of a single party’s negligence or carelessness. 

Suppose that a corporation fails to take proper care and causes damage to many people. In these cases, the injury victims can file a claim for compensation paid by the at-fault party.  

In a class action lawsuit, one person or entity files a claim on behalf of all the victims of common negligence. There are many reasons that class action lawsuits are preferable in certain cases. 

Class action suits help the courts remain efficient and effective. Rather than filing thousands of similar lawsuits, plaintiffs can pool their resources to hold negligent corporations responsible for their negligent actions or inaction. 

This type of claim also encourages an equitable distribution of financial compensation to the plaintiffs. If each claimant files their own legal claim, a small number of plaintiffs may obtain most of the financial recovery.  

Class action lawsuits also make changes in corporate behavior more likely. Many of the defendants in class action lawsuits are large businesses and companies.  

These corporations often have extraordinary legal resources at their disposal. Through a class action suit, victims can use their resources collectively and are more likely to secure justice.  

The skilled legal professionals at Morgan & Morgan know how to handle the complexities of class action suits. When you hire our firm, we will fight tirelessly to recover every dime of compensation you are owed. 

Is the Water in Cincinnati Safe to Drink?

Many people in and around Cincinnati are understandably concerned about the state of their drinking water. Following the Norfolk Southern disaster, local authorities are testing the water in the Ohio River for traces of dangerous toxins.  

A report released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) discussed several potential mechanical causes for the derailment. Regardless of the exact circumstances that led to the tragedy, Ohioans should be able to trust the safety of their drinking water. 

As of February 21, 2023, Cincinnati officials have claimed that the drinking water in the city is completely safe. Still, there were detectable levels of contamination upstream in the Ohio River. 

While they engaged in safety testing, Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) officials closed their Ohio River intakes. During this time, they relied on stored water reserves. 

Still, they maintain that the Ohio River water has been safe to drink the entire time. The GCWW tests the water from the intake every two hours, regardless of the circumstances. 

But the coming days and weeks will determine whether the water in Cincinnati remains safe. If citizens are harmed by the unintentional contamination of their drinking water, at-fault parties may be held accountable. 

Private corporations and government agencies have a duty to operate in reasonably safe and legal ways. When organizations fail to fulfill this duty and people are harmed as a result, victims have the legal right to pursue justice. 

If you have sustained injuries or illness as the result of the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, contact Morgan and Morgan.

Common Damages in Water Contamination Cases

When victims of water contamination file for financial recovery, the amount they can obtain depends on many factors. 

Innocent families and individuals should be able to trust the safety of their public water. If the negligence of a corporation or public agency causes damage to individuals or communities, legal recourse is available.

Like most tort lawsuits, successful water contamination cases often result in two types of compensatory damages, referred to as economic and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages are financial payments made by the defendant to cover the monetary costs resulting from their negligence. In other words, these payments are intended to compensate victims for the financial losses they experienced. 

Typical economic damages sought in water contamination cases include compensation for:

  • Economic devastation caused by the need to evacuate
  • Lost income and wages following an inability to work
  • Property damage from the contamination
  • Medical bills resulting from illness 
  • Expected future care costs

These are only a few prominent examples. The other typical kind of compensatory payment is known as non-economic, or general, damages. General damages compensate victims for intangible losses. 

Suppose that you drink contaminated water in Cincinnati and become ill. The party responsible may be held liable for non-economic damages covering: 

  • Loss of opportunity
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional pain and anguish
  • Permanent or temporary disability
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

In some water contamination cases, victims ingest lethal doses of toxins. When this happens, the decedent’s family may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim. 

In these cases, a victim’s estate holder pursues compensation for the costs sustained by the victim’s family and loved ones. Damages in these cases may cover: 

  • Emotional suffering and grief
  • Burial and funerary expenses
  • Outstanding medical bills and debt
  • Loss of consortium, guidance, or relationship 

If you have been harmed by water contamination in Cincinnati, do not wait. Let the accomplished Morgan and Morgan legal team assess the viability of your case. 

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  • Are Punitive Damages Possible in Water Contamination Cases?

    Repayments for economic and non-economic losses are examples of compensatory damages. These payments make up for the direct and indirect losses from the victim’s accident or injury. 

    Punitive damages, on the other hand, are not compensatory. These payments are awarded by a judge or jury to punish the negligent party. 

    Imagine a negligent corporation caused harm by spilling toxins into a water supply. A court may award victims punitive damages to deter future negligence by similar companies and businesses.

  • How Long Should I Wait to Pursue a Water Contamination Claim?

    Water contamination victims should consult with a skilled tort attorney as soon as they recognize that they have a potential case. The statute of limitations in a negligence case is determined at the state level. 

    Failing to file a lawsuit before the statute expires may result in the loss of the money you are owed. In the state of Ohio, most injury and negligence claims are subject to a two-year time limit.  

    However, there are exceptions. Make sure to consult with an Ohio attorney at Morgan & Morgan if you believe that you have a valid case.

  • Morgan & Morgan Can Help You

    If you were the victim of corporate negligence or have a valid water contamination case, reach out to our firm today. The team at Morgan & Morgan has been advocating for victims’ rights for more than 35 years

    We understand the financial and personal challenges that can result from corporate negligence. Because of that, we will gladly provide you with a no-cost legal case evaluation with no requirement to hire our firm.  

    Fill out the contact form on the Morgan & Morgan website today to arrange a free consultation with a member of our staff.

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