Skip to main content
photo of railroad cars

Lyon Firm Files Class Action Complaint Against Norfolk Southern

The Lyon Firm, along with other prominent class action law firms, has filed a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern following the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment and chemical spill.

The East Palestine, Ohio class action has been filed on behalf of thousands of individuals and businesses damaged by the February 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern Freight Train.

Norfolk Southern is a major transporter of industrial products, including agriculture, forest and consumer products, chemicals, metals, and construction materials. The derailed train was carrying several toxic chemicals, including vinyl chloride, butyl acrylate, ethylhexyl acrylate, isobutylene, ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, diethylene glycol, hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen cyanide, and benzene.

According to the complaint, at least eleven of the cars that derailed contained hazardous materials, including vinyl chloride. Due to the threat of a deadly explosion, residents were evacuated from their homes and on February 6, three days after the derailments, Norfolk Southern performed a “controlled release” of the vinyl chloride.

That procedure meant dumping the toxic VC into a trench, setting it on fire, and waiting for the vinyl chlorine to burn off. More than a million pounds of vinyl chloride were leaked into the surrounding environment, which is more than twice the total annual vinyl chloride emissions of all industrial emitters in the United States combined.

What is Vinyl Chloride?

Vinyl Chloride is a highly combustible compound classified by the EPA as a Group A human carcinogen (i.e., the most fatal). Exposure to vinyl chloride can affect the cardiovascular, respiratory, and central nervous systems, and can cause difficulty breathing, lung irritation, chest pains, coughing, dizziness, headaches, eye irritation, loss of consciousness, and even death.

Vinyl chloride exposure is linked to liver cancer, brain cancer, breast cancer, and blood cancer. Vinyl chloride can travel through soil and groundwater or convert to a gas in the atmosphere.

When vinyl chloride burns, it releases other toxic chemicals like hydrogen chloride and phosgene.

Can I Sue Following the East Palestine Train Derailment?

Plaintiffs are suing Norfolk Southern as a direct consequence of the transport company’s alleged reckless and negligent actions. Thousands have suffered and will continue to suffer substantial damages, including decreased property values, damage to real and personal property, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, loss of business income, loss of business goodwill, and medical monitoring expenses.

The plaintiffs bring this lawsuit on behalf of themselves and similarly situated residents and businesses in close proximity to the derailment site, seeking financial compensation.

Since the accident, several residents have experienced intense coughing, headaches, shortness of breath and spells of dizziness and exhaustion. This has resulted in lost wages and medical expenses.

Contact The Lyon Firm regarding any specific injuries or losses related to the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment and property contamination. We offer free, confidential consultations.