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W&L Gets $600 Million Settlement for Norfolk Southern Train Derailment in Ohio

Reviewed by: James Bilsborrow
April 30, 2024
Home Firm News W&L Gets $600 Million Settlement for Norfolk Southern Train Derailment in Ohio

A settlement of $600 million is proposed for the Norfolk Southern Corp. train derailment catastrophe in East Palestine, Ohio. The effort was led by a court-appointed team of attorneys, including James Bilsborrow of Weitz & Luxenberg P.C., who served on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee.

“This settlement for our clients was reached after just 14 months, which is an extraordinary achievement. Most environmental catastrophe cases take years to resolve,” explains James Bilsborrow, a W&L partner and co-chair of the firm’s Environmental, Toxic Tort & Consumer Protection practice group.

Mr. Bilsborrow adds, “I feel extremely gratified our team was able to deliver this result for our clients in such a short period of time. We are very pleased we can get victims of this derailment the compensation they deserve as soon as possible.”

Clients to Receive Financial Compensation

Victims who are eligible to be compensated by this class action settlement are anticipated to begin receiving payments by the end of the year. They are free to use the money however they wish, including on medical care and treatment as well as economic relief.

Experts have determined that anyone up to 10 miles away from the derailment may have suffered injury. The fumes from toxic chemicals spread multiple miles beyond the initial estimate of just one to two miles.

Although the specifics are still being discussed, it is expected that victims closest to the Norfolk Southern train derailment, fire, and toxic fumes will receive the largest of these payments. In specific instances, victims of this disaster are free to pursue personal injury compensation as well.

If you or a loved one suffered from this catastrophe, we are here to help. Get your free case evaluation today.

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Victims Suffer Significant Health and Economic Injury

Governmental agencies are overseeing the cleanup and restoration of the East Palestine, Ohio, area — potentially for years. Harm from dangerous chemicals not only affects people and the environment during the initial disaster, but also has far-reaching, long-ranging consequences.

Residents and businesses of East Palestine are already experiencing severe health consequences, as well as economic injuries. Respiratory injuries range from relatively mild to severe and chronic. People have also experienced headaches, dizziness, and persistent coughing.

Some residents and businesses find their dwellings are still uninhabitable. Selling and moving elsewhere is also a potential harm — home and property values have plummeted.

Train Derailment in Ohio Harms Thousands

On February 3, 2023, Norfolk Southern Railway Freight Train 32N derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, near the Pennsylvania border. Following the initial derailment, roughly 40 additional cars derailed and a fire started. The fire damaged another 12 cars.

The freight train was transporting chemicals and combustible materials, including hundreds of thousands of pounds of polyvinyl, polyethylene, butyl acrylates, ethylhexyl acrylate, ethylene glycol, monobutyl ether, and the toxic flammable gas vinyl chloride.

Some of these chemicals combusted and burned for several days. Thick, billowing smoke from the fire spread across the town of East Palestine and surrounding area.

In addition, the defendants chose to puncture holes in the vinyl chloride container cars, releasing even more vinyl chloride into the atmosphere. Then, the defendants set this chemical on fire.

Around 2, 000 residents and businesses within a two-mile radius were forced to evacuate. Schools were closed.

Were you affected by the Norfolk Southern train derailment? Get help from experienced environmental attorneys today. Call Weitz & Luxenberg for a free consultation.

(833) 977-3437

W&L Helps Victims of Environmental Catastrophes

Mr. Bilsborrow is one of our leading attorneys. He has dedicated himself to representing victims of environmental catastrophes and toxic exposure. This includes representing farmers with crops damaged due to harmful herbicides, and people who suffered significant health injuries due to exposure to toxic chemicals such as Roundup.

In addition, Mr. Bilsborrow has helped our clients harmed by PFAS chemicals, contaminated drinking water, and the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

W&L is proud to count Mr. Bilsborrow among our most committed attorneys. In all, W&L has secured more than $19 billion on behalf of our clients harmed by the negligent actions and inactions of large corporations across the country.

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