If you live in or near East Palestine, Ohio, you have no doubt been greatly concerned about the health and safety of your community following a recent train derailment that caused a toxic chemical spill. The state attorney general’s office has filed a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern Railway. The company stands accused of negligence and of disregarding toxic waste and water laws.
When you learned that more than one million gallons of toxic chemicals spilled out of the derailed train, you may have worried that you or someone you love would suffer personal injury because of it. The state’s attorney general has said that the industrial tragedy will have adverse effects on Ohio residents for many years to come. However, he also stated that the purpose of the lawsuit is to make sure Norfolk Southern Railway keeps its promise to “make things right” for those who have suffered.
Mass transit exists to help you, not harm you
While it’s understandable that people who live near the derailment site would be upset and concerned about their health and safety, it’s best to keep in mind that the accident doesn’t necessarily mean that it is hazardous to live in an area where trains pass through. Mass transit includes not only trains but buses, commercial airliners, subways and more.
What’s most important is to know where to seek support if a collision occurs that results in injuries to you or your loved ones. In this case, Norfolk Southern Railway executives have stated that they are committed to helping protect the water supply for Ohioans who use water that may have collected toxins following the train derailment.
Private citizens have also filed lawsuits
In addition to the Ohio attorney general, many private citizens have filed legal claims against Norfolk Southern Railway, as well. State law allows this when negligence was a causal factor in a collision or accident that resulted in damage, such as emotional trauma, physical injury or economic distress. When a toxic spill occurs, it may take months or longer to determine exactly how much damage has occurred.
Many collisions, including those involving mass transit vehicles, such as trains, are later determined to have been preventable. You or your loved one should not have to endure the financial stress that often arises in connection with a serious accident. This is why Ohio law provides recourse to recovering victims or immediate family members of those who have suffered fatal injuries.