Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) filed a 106-page federal lawsuit against Norfolk Southern on Tuesday over last month’s train derailment in East Palestine, which spewed toxic chemicals into the environment, leaving the small town and its residents in disarray.
The lawsuit seeks to hold Norfolk Southern liable for all financial damages resulting from “the release of over one million gallons of hazardous materials” and other harmful pollutants into Ohio’s air, water, and soil.
Furthermore, the derailment killed “tens of thousands of fish and other animals, and recklessly endanger[ed] the health of Ohioans throughout the region,” the lawsuit argues.
The suit was filed in federal court in northern Ohio, and goes on to state that “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 adds.
“The Derailment has caused substantial damage to the regional economy of the State of Ohio, its citizens, and its businesses,” the complaint states. “The citizens of the region have been displaced, their lives interrupted, and their businesses shuttered.”
Therefore, Ohio is now seeking civil penalties, compensatory and punitive damages, as well as “for declaratory and injunctive relief, to remedy Defendants’ violations of law.”
“Ohio shouldn’t have to bear the tremendous financial burden of Norfolk Southern’s glaring negligence,” Yost said 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.”
AG Yost filed a 58-count civil lawsuit in federal court today seeking to hold Norfolk Southern financially responsible for the Feb. 3 train derailment in East Palestine that caused the release of over 1 million gallons of hazardous chemicals.
Details: https://t.co/gQCs63asLK pic.twitter.com/A7fOZ1VcA8
— Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (@OhioAG) March 14, 2023
In total, Ohio’s 58-count lawsuit against Norfolk Southern raises a host of claims, ranging from federal and state environmental laws to Ohio common law violations such as trespass and negligence.
The case is Ohio ex rel. Yost v. Norfolk Southern Corp., No. 4:23-cv-517 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is making it more difficult to clean up the area in East Palestine, Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) told Breitbart News on Saturday.
“These railroad companies have gotten totally in bed with big government,” Vance said. “Most recently, they were bailed out by the government in the form of the feds coming in, Joe Biden and others coming in and settling the labor union issue that the railroads have.”
As for the residents of East Palestine, some are reporting similar and unusual symptoms, such as feeling a burning sensation when they breathe, rashes, and general feelings of weakness, which one health care worker referred to as “chemical bronchitis.”
You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.