Ohio Sues Norford Southern Railroad Over East Palestine Derailment

Ohio Sues Norford Southern Railroad Over East Palestine Derailment
Ohio Sues Norford Southern Railroad Over East Palestine Derailment
Khushbu Kumari

The Ohio state attorney general filed a lawsuit against Norforlk Southern, the railroad that operated a train that derailed, causing a chemical accident in early February.

Ohio filed a lawsuit against the Norfolk Southern Railroad to make sure it pays for cleanup and environmental damage caused by a burning train derailment on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border last month, the state's attorney general said Tuesday.

The lawsuit also seeks to force the company to pay for soil and groundwater monitoring in the coming years and economic losses in the East Palestine village and surrounding areas, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said.

“The consequences of this highly preventable accident will reverberate throughout Ohio for many years to come,” Yost said.

No one was injured in the February 3 derailment, but half of East Palestine's roughly 5,000 residents had to evacuate for days when rescue workers intentionally burned toxic chemicals in some of the derailed cars to prevent an uncontrolled explosion, leaving residents with persistent health problems.

Government officials say tests conducted over the past month have found no dangerous levels of chemicals in the air or water in the area.

Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw apologized to Congress last week for the impact the derailment has had on the area, but made no specific commitment to pay for long-term health and economic damages.

Norfolk Southern said Tuesday in response to the lawsuit that it was listening to the community's concerns and planning to take additional steps to address some of them.

The lawsuit also asks the railroad to reimburse first responders and state agencies for the costs of dealing with the disaster.

It is not yet known how much money the state is seeking because the response is ongoing, but Yost made it clear that the cost will be enormous.

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