What Happened With the Train in Ohio?

What Happened With the Train in Ohio?

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What Happened With the Train in Ohio?

In February 2023, a train hauling numerous types of dangerous chemicals derailed near the town of East Palestine, Ohio. This derailment resulted in tens of thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals spilling into the Ohio River. 

The event resulted in the temporary evacuation of East Palestine and had millions wondering, “What happened with the train in Ohio?” Five million Americans get their potable water from the Ohio River, and concerns about contamination became widespread as a result. 

Authorities, including the National Transportation Safety Board, are investigating the specific cause of the crash. The most likely explanation for what happened with the train in Ohio is that a wheel bearing overheated.  

This wheel-bearing failure led to more than 30 train cars derailing. Many of the cars carried chemicals used to manufacture plastics and other materials.  

Many people near the crash sustained significant financial and personal harm. If you were financially or physically impacted by the Norfolk Southern train derailment, reach out to the skilled attorneys at Morgan & Morgan.

Our accomplished team can review your case to determine whether you are owed compensation. Do not allow negligent corporations to go unaccountable.  

The Morgan and Morgan legal team has plenty of experience with corporate negligence and water contamination claims. When you fill out our firm’s online contact form, we will schedule a free consultation.

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  • What Was the Cause of the Ohio Train Derailment?

    The most likely explanation for the Norfolk Southern train accident is an overheated wheel bearing, an important component that helps support and guide a train car's wheels.  

    The wheel bearing minimizes friction from the movement of the wheel. A railcar wheel bearing typically consists of two main parts. These are called the outer race and the inner race.  

    The outer race is affixed to the wheel assembly. The inner race is attached to the axle. There are rolling elements between the two races, which help reduce friction and distribute the load evenly.  

    Railcar wheel bearings also maintain the alignment of the wheelset. This is important because any misalignment can cause excessive wear on the wheels and rails.  

    When unaddressed, misalignment can lead to increased maintenance and repair costs. Properly functioning wheel bearings are critical for railcars to operate safely and efficiently. 

    As the train approached the town of East Palestine, the workers detected an increase in one wheel bearing’s temperature. Once the bearing became too hot, Norfolk Southern Railway protocols required the train to stop. 

    According to initial reports, the wheel bearing failed during the train’s deceleration. A car near the front was affected, and it caused many other railcars to jump the tracks and crash.

  • What Happened After the Norfolk Southern Derailment?

    In the aftermath of the Norfolk Southern train derailment, a fire of dangerous chemicals burned for days. Hazardous fumes were spewed into the air near the crash site. 

    As a result, the citizens of East Palestine were forced to evacuate. Some local residents have reported health issues, such as: 

    • Rashes
    • Nausea
    • Difficulty breathing 

    Two of the most dangerous chemicals on board the train were vinyl chloride and butyl acrylate. Understanding what happened with the train in Ohio requires a discussion about why exposure to these two compounds can be dangerous. 

    What Is Vinyl Chloride?

    Vinyl chloride is a colorless gas. It has a slightly sweet odor and is used primarily in the production of polyvinyl chloride plastic (PVC). This compound is also known as chloroethylene, chloroethene, and ethylene monochloride. 

    The chemical is used to make a wide range of PVC products. Some of the most common examples include: 

    • Pipes
    • Wire and cable coatings
    • Various types of flooring
    • Coverings for walls
    • Automotive components  

    It is also used to make other products, such as synthetic rubber, coatings, and adhesives. While it is incredibly versatile and useful, vinyl chloride is also a known human carcinogen. 

    Breathing vinyl chloride can cause a range of health issues. Victims may experience both acute and chronic effects. Acute effects often occur shortly after exposure and can include irritation of the: 

    • Eyes
    • Skin
    • Respiratory tract  

    Exposure to high concentrations of vinyl chloride can also cause persistent headaches, dizziness, and drowsiness. In rare cases, victims may experience a loss of consciousness. 

    Long-term exposure to vinyl chloride has been linked to a higher risk of developing serious health problems. These include: 

    • Liver damage
    • Damage to the nervous system 
    • Dysfunction of the immune system 
    • Various types of cancers 

    Chronic exposure to vinyl chloride has been associated with an increased risk of liver cancer, lung cancer, brain cancer, and lymphatic cancer. The resulting health effects of vinyl chloride exposure will vary depending on several factors, including: 

    • The duration and level of exposure
    • The victim’s age
    • The victim’s sex
    • The victim’s general health status 

    If you believe you have been exposed to vinyl chloride, you should seek medical attention immediately. A physician may prescribe medications or other treatments to address vinyl chloride exposure.  

    Various government agencies strictly regulate the use of vinyl chloride due to its toxicity. The Norfolk Southern train derailment released large amounts of vinyl chloride into the air. 

    This has left residents in and around the area wondering whether what happened with the train in Ohio has affected the safety of their local air. 

    If you have been negatively impacted by the release of Norfolk Southern Railway’s vinyl chloride, do not wait. Contact a legal professional from Morgan & Morgan to discuss the possibility of pursuing compensation for the harm you suffered. 

    What Is Butyl Acrylate?

    This colorless liquid has a powerful and fruity smell. It is typically used in the manufacturing of various consumer and industrial products. 

    For example, this chemical is used to make various paints and coatings. Butyl acrylate can also be used as a monomer in the manufacture of acrylic sealants and adhesives.  

    These products are utilized in the following industries: 

    • Construction 
    • Automotive
    • Packaging
    • Aerospace 

    Butyl acrylate is a critical element in the production of many textiles and fibers, including acrylic and modacrylic. Many personal care and fashion products, such as fingernail polish and hair gel, also contain this compound. 

    It is critical to note that butyl acrylate is highly flammable and dangerous when ingested. The train derailment in East Palestine, OH, raised many concerns about water contamination in the Ohio River.  

    Coming into contact with butyl acrylate is extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. This toxin can cause severe irritation and damage to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system upon exposure. 

    When accidentally ingested, butyl acrylate can cause serious health problems. Some of the most typical symptoms and issues include: 

    • Irritation of the mouth
    • Discomfort in the throat
    • Stomach problems 
    • Persistent nausea and vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Severe abdominal pain  

    It can also cause damage to the liver and kidneys. In extreme cases, ingesting this compound can lead to coma or death.

    The Environmental Protection Agency has been conducting extensive tests to determine the water quality downriver of the spill. If you suspect that you have been exposed to butyl acrylate or have ingested it, seek medical attention immediately.  

    The accomplished legal team at Morgan & Morgan knows how to fight for the rights of water contamination victims. Do not put up with the costs and losses caused by corporate negligence involved in what happened with the train in Ohio. 

  • What Are Common Damages in Corporate Negligence Claims?

    Corporate negligence is a type of tort claim that arises when a corporation or its employees fail to meet their legal duty of care. Businesses owe their customers, clients, and others an implied duty of care.  

    The term “damages” refers to the financial payments provided to victims by the party who caused them harm. The damages that can result from this type of claim can vary depending on the case's specific circumstances.  

    Some of the most common damages sought in corporate negligence claims are: 

    Compensation for Personal Injuries

    Corporate negligence can result in physical injuries to individuals. These injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to more serious injuries, such as broken bones or traumatic brain injuries. In the case of water contamination, victims may suffer a broad range of symptoms and illnesses.

    Compensation for Emotional Anguish

    A negligent company can also cause emotional distress to victims. Examples include:  

    • Anxiety and depression
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    • Panic disorder
    • Emotional distress from illness 

    These losses can be difficult to calculate. That is why it is important to speak with a Morgan & Morgan attorney about the facts of your claim.

    Property Damage and Financial Losses

    Corporate negligence can result in property damage to individuals' homes, cars, or other personal property. For example, toxic smoke from a train derailment might cause property values to decrease drastically. 

    Also, financial losses can occur when other businesses cannot function because of environmental harm. What happened with the train in Ohio illustrates this clearly. The town of East Palestine was under an evacuation order for nearly five days following the Norfolk Southern train derailment, potentially causing significant financial losses.

    Punitive Damages 

    In some corporate negligence cases, punitive damages may be awarded to victims. This payment type is not meant to pay back victims for their personal or financial losses.  

    Punitive damages are intended to punish the company for its negligent behavior. Awarding these damages also deter others from engaging in similar behavior in the future.

  • Is There a Class Action Suit Against Norfolk Southern Railway?

    Yes. The team at Morgan and Morgan has filed a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern in the wake of the train derailment and toxic chemical spill.  

    Class action lawsuits involve many plaintiffs who suffered similar damage from a single cause. In this case, claimants are pursuing payments for the following: 

    • Emotional distress
    • Injunctive and declaratory relief
    • Medical monitoring
    • Loss of property value
    • Risk of future illnesses
    • Damages related to injuries 

    The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan have plenty of experience fighting for the victims of environmental catastrophes caused by corporate negligence. If you were harmed as a result of the East Palestine train derailment, contact our firm today.

  • Do Class Action Plaintiffs Pay Upfront Attorneys’ Fees?

    No. Tort claimants should never be held accountable for legal costs before the conclusion of their case. Like all trustworthy tort law firms, Morgan and Morgan compensates its lawyers through contingency fees. 

    This means that our clients pay for legal representation with a portion of the recovery from their case. Morgan & Morgan will never demand payment before your case has been successfully concluded.

  • Secure Premier Legal Representation

    As the country’s largest injury firm, Morgan and Morgan has obtained over $20 billion in compensation for our clients. Arrange a no-obligation, free legal case evaluation today by completing the simple contact form on our website. We are ready to fight for you.

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