Norfolk Southern has agreed to pay $600 million in a settlement over a train derailment in Ohio

Norfolk Southern has agreed to pay $600 million in a class action settlement involving a February 2023 train derailment in eastern Ohio.

The company said the agreement, if approved by the court, would resolve all class action claims within a 20-mile radius of the derailment and, for those residents who chose to participate, personal injury claims within a 10-mile radius of the derailment.

About 50 cars of the freight train – which included about 150 cars and three locomotives – derailed on the outskirts of eastern Palestine, near the Pennsylvania state line, and some of the cars were transporting hazardous materials. The evacuation involved between 1,500 and 2,000 of the town's population of approximately 4,800 to 4,900 people.

Norfolk Southern said Tuesday that individuals and businesses will be able to use damages from the settlement in any way they see fit to address potential negative impacts from the derailment, which could include health care needs, property restitution and compensation for any net business loss. Individuals within 10 miles of the derailment may, at their discretion, elect to receive additional compensation for any past, present or future personal injury resulting from the derailment.

The company said that the settlement does not include or constitute any admission of liability, error or wrongdoing.

The settlement is expected to be submitted for preliminary approval to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio later in April 2024. Payments to class members under the settlement could begin by the end of the year, subject to final court approval.

See also  Major robotics companies pledge not to add weapons to their technology to avoid the risk of harm | robots

Norfolk Southern has already spent More than $1.1 billion Regarding its derailment response, including more than $104 million in direct aid to eastern Palestine and its residents. That's partly because South Norfolk is paying for the cleanup, and President Joe Biden has never declared a disaster in eastern Palestine, a sore spot for many residents. The railroad has promised to create a fund to help pay for the community's long-term health needs, but that has yet to happen.

Plaintiffs' attorneys said the deal is the result of a year of extensive investigations into the derailment and should provide significant relief to residents.

“This decision comes shortly after the one-year anniversary of the disaster and will provide significant compensation to all affected residents, property owners, employees and businesses that reside, own, have a legal interest in, operate, own or conduct business for the property.” “We're very excited about this,” said Seth A. Katz of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, PC, M.D. Elizabeth Graham of Grant & Eisenhofer PA, Jayne Conroy of Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC and T. Michael Morgan from Morgan: “Damage caused by derailment and chemical release.” & Morgan, P.A

The railroad also reported preliminary first-quarter earnings of 23 cents per share on Tuesday to reflect the impact of the settlement.

Norfolk Southern “has become a more productive and efficient railway company,” said Alan Shaw, the railway’s chief executive, who is fighting for his job against an activist investor who wants to reform the railway’s operations. “There is still more work to be done to achieve competitive margins in Industry.

See also  Cruz gets the green light for a commercial motorized vehicle in San Francisco

The railroad said that although volume rose 4% during the quarter, its revenue declined 4% due to lower fuel surcharge revenue and changes in the mix of freight it handled.

Ancora Holdings is trying to persuade investors to back its nominees for Norfolk Southern's board of directors at the railway's annual meeting on May 9.

Federal officials said last week that the effects Train derailment It is not considered a public health emergency because widespread health problems and sustained exposure to the chemicals have not been documented.

The EPA never approved that designation after the Norfolk Southern derailment in February 2023, even though the disaster forced the evacuation of half the area. City of eastern Palestine It generated many concerns about Potential long-term health consequences From chemicals that were spilled and burned. Pollution concerns were exacerbated by the decision Five tank vehicles were blown up It is filled with vinyl chloride and burns that toxic chemical three days after it goes off the track.

Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board He said recently Her agency's investigation showed that venting and burning vinyl chloride was not necessary because the company that produced that chemical was certain no dangerous chemical reaction occurred inside the tank cars. But the officials who made the decision said they were never told that.

The NTSB's full investigation into the cause of the derailment It won't be completed until Junedespite that agency He said An overheating of a wheel bearing on one of the rail cars that was not detected in a timely manner by a trackside sensor likely caused the accident.

See also  Mortgage rates bounce back up

The EPA said the cleanup in eastern Palestine is expected to be completed later this year.

Shares of Atlanta-based Norfolk Southern Corp. fell about 1.3% before the opening bell on Tuesday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *