Skip to content

This Just In: Ohio is Suing Norfolk Southern Over Toxic Train Derailment

On Tuesday, Republican Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost sued Norfolk Southern over its train derailment on February 3 that caused a toxic chemical spill.

The Ohio AG filed a 106-page lawsuit to hold Norfolk Southern liable for all financial damages associated with the train derailment. This would mainly entail hazardous chemical pollution of the air and water. The lawsuit lists 58 federal and state environmental law violations that Norfolk Southern allegedly violated, including state hazardous waste, water pollution control, solid waste and air pollution control laws.

“Norfolk Southern should have taken, but did not, appropriate steps to prevent the Derailment and resulting harm to the State, and at a minimum Norfolk Southern should have been prepared to adequately respond to the Derailment and mitigate damage immediately after the Derailment,” the lawsuit argues.

The attorney general further accuses Norfolk Southern of Common Law violations, including public nuisance for the chemicals released into the environment, negligence for the operational defects and trespassing for contaminating natural resources. Yost is proverbially ‘throwing the book’ at Norfolk Southern.

“Ohio shouldn’t have to bear the tremendous financial burden of Norfolk Southern’s glaring negligence,” Yost added in a press release. “The fallout from this highly preventable incident may continue for years to come, and there’s still so much we don’t know about the long-term effects on our air, water and soil.”

The State is seeking civil penalties, compensatory and punitive damages, as well as “for declaratory and injunctive relief, to remedy Defendants’ violations of law.” The Ohio AG is requesting a minimum of $75,000 in federal damages, although Yost acknowledged in the press release that  “the damages will far exceed that minimum as the situation in East Palestine continues to unfold.”

“The derailment has caused substantial damage to the regional economy of the state of Ohio, its citizens and its businesses,” the lawsuit reads. “The citizens of the region have been displaced, their lives interrupted and their businesses shuttered.”

Norfolk Southern promised to “make it right for the people of East Palestine and the surrounding communities” in a statement sent to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“We are making progress every day cleaning the site safely and thoroughly, providing financial assistance to residents and businesses that have been affected, and investing to help East Palestine and the communities around it thrive,” the statement read.

This would entail creating a “long-term medical compensation fund” and “to provide tailored protection for home sellers if their property loses value due to the impact of the derailment,” according to the statement.

The lawsuit also requests that Norfolk Southern conduct ongoing soil and groundwater monitoring near the train derailment site. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is continuing to monitor the air and water quality, according to its website. Residents and workers have reported illnesses including migraines, nausea, and loss of smell following the train derailment.


Donald Trump Gets the Last Laugh at Woke Bank That Closed His Account After the 2020 Election

"*" indicates required fields

Who would you vote for? Trump or DeSantis?*
This poll gives you free access to our premium politics newsletter. Unsubscribe at any time.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.