(USNewsBreak.com) – Ohio has been dealing with the fallout of the Norfolk Southern train wreck for more than a month now, and experts believe it will last for years to come. To ensure the company pays for all of the damage, including that which might not be evident today, the state, led by Republican Attorney General Dave Yost, has filed a lawsuit in federal court.
In a March 14 news release, Yost said the accident was “entirely avoidable” and outlined the specifics of the 58-count civil suit, saying it’s not enough to pay for the evident damage. There needs to be a plan in place for any long-term events that arise out of the train crash. For example, Yost wants Norfolk Southern to pay for economic losses in East Palestine and cover the costs of soil and groundwater monitoring for several years to see if the accident has a lingering effect on the area and its natural resources.
The state of Ohio is suing Norfolk Southern, calling last month's toxic train derailment in East Palestine "entirely avoidable." https://t.co/Mdq4YrNkM2
— ABC News (@ABC) March 15, 2023
When CEO Alan Shaw appeared before Congress on March 9, he vowed to make things right. He said the company would clean up the area and offer financial assistance to residents and first responders affected. What he didn’t do was commit to paying for long-term issues that might crop up. That’s where the civil suit comes in.
In the lawsuit, Yost charges Norfolk Southern with 58 violations, which include state and federal environmental laws and Ohio Common Law. He’s asking the court to officially declare the train company responsible and award Ohio:
- Costs for emergency response
- Recovery of economic losses and lost taxes
- Repayment of damages, both evident and those which may occur later
- Repayment of any future costs incurred
- Federal damages of at least $75,000 — acknowledging the final number “will far exceed that minimum”
- Repayment of all court costs
- Civil penalties per environmental laws
Norfolk Southern has not responded to the lawsuit as of the publication of this article. However, the company did announce on March 16 that it would be donating $250,000 to a non-profit that’s been helping out in East Palestine.
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