Norfolk Southern Faces ‘Insurmountable’ Costs for Ohio Chemical Spill Clean-Up

Очистка частей грузового поезда Norfolk Southern, сошедшего с рельсов более недели назад в штате ОгайоInternationalIndiaAfricaJames TweedieThe Norfolk Southern Railway train that derailed near the Ohio town of East Palestine on February 3 caused an environmental disaster that has devastated the surrounding area. Steve Gill, attorney and CEO of Gill Media, said the rail firm should be liable for damagesAn attorney has said the operator of the freight train that caused the Ohio chemical spill disaster should pay for the clean-up operation — not the taxpayer.Norfolk Southern Railway ran the train which derailed near the small town of East Palestine on February 3, spilling hundreds of tons of vinyl chloride and other hazardous chemicals from 20 tanker cars.Firefighters ignited the chemicals in a controlled burn, sending a huge plume of smoke into the sky.Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials evacuated some residents from the area on the Pennsylvania border, between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. The agency later told them to return home, claiming there was no long-lasting or dangerous contamination.But locals have complained of odd medical symptoms and reported that nearby woodlands and rivers are littered with dead animals and fish.Attorney Steve Gill, who has also served as the director of intergovernmental affairs for the US Trade Representative, told Sputnik that residents have a strong case for litigation against the company — if not the government.”People have been severely harmed, severely damaged,” Gill said. “The problem is there are usually restrictions on what you can collect from the government,” he cautioned. “The government protects itself from from lawsuits under the theory that you’re suing yourself if you’re a taxpayer.”But lawsuits against the Norfolk Southern are an “entirely different thing,” the attorney stressed, arguing that the firm may have failed to ensure their trains met safety standards. “I do think that there’s strong liability there and that a lawsuit against them does have great weight,” he said, adding that “the damages are almost insurmountable.””You can clean the soil, you can make sure that places can become safe,” Gill said. “But it’s going to take a lot and it’s going to be expensive to do it. And Norfolk Southern should be paying the money. Taxpayers shouldn’t be having to pay for that.”Norfolk Southern Faces 'Insurmountable' Costs for Ohio Chemical Spill Clean-UpAmericasNorfolk Southern Train Derails in Alabama as CEO Testifies in Congress Over Ohio Disaster9 March, 18:52 GMTLocal business owners would find it easy to claim damages for loss of income due to the disaster.”In some cases, you have businesses that literally had to shut down because they couldn’t operate under the toxic environment,” Gill noted. “Those are pretty easy to prove, short term damages.”But he said the “bigger challenge” was proving the rail firm’s liability in the accident.”It’s like if you’re in a car wreck, you might have a car wreck where the witnesses are conflicting whose fault it was,” Gill explains. “Can you prove this was Norfolk Southern’s fault? I think that’s going to be a relatively easy step.”


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