Norfolk Southern Railway will cough up ANOTHER almost $600 million for last year’s train derailment 

April 10 – Last February, a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, causing massive damage and health concerns for people who live in the area. 

The train had been carrying vinyl chloride, a highly-explosive chemical that was unstable and used as a biological weapon in wartime. 

People in the area are still feeling the effects of the chemical. 

Norfolk Southern announced yesterday that a settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit against the company. It will pay $600 million for those affected. 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “You can’t help but think that this Norfolk train disaster that trickled into Pennsylvania out of Ohio and the Colonel State Senator Mastriano and his work and the committee that he heads up, which should very much resonate in this area a great deal. This is where the expertise and the time spent in Harrisburg that Doug brings to the table right here in Franklin County really, this is what really matters.”

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “This is part of a global settlement they’ve reached because there were lawsuits filed related to that train derailment. So this is an out of court settlement. Norfolk Southern, they’ve already spent more than $800 million aside from this settlement on environmental cleanup. So this is a big number. I want to point out, though, that there were already some critics yesterday, none other than people like Erin Brockovich saying they don’t think this is enough money. She thinks that Norfolk Southern may be trying to settle this quickly, because the exposure might end up being much more than this long term. Again, hard to say. But we know that all parties settled and so this number may be too much, maybe it’s too little, but all parties to the action have agreed to it. No doubt about the issues out there both for the community and a lot of those people that were affected by it, this could go on for many years.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “The good news is that this involved 20 miles around the derailment, which is much farther than the state and other governmental agencies, I think maybe the federal agencies were looking at. They were limiting it to a two mile to three mile radius. That was a complaint that was brought up at these hearings that Doug had that people farther away weren’t being concerned. Now this says parties to the class action lawsuit involved. So who were those parties? How many people were involved? How many didn’t get in on that class action lawsuit? Was it well done so that it involves many or most of the people that would have been in that 20 mile radius and their businesses? I don’t have those details. But certainly bringing more light to it is never a bad thing. I’m glad those hearings were held. One of the biggest complaints is nobody’s testing us. Nobody’s looking at our health care status. We had a clinic for a month, set up by the state, big whoop in 2023 and nobody’s been really monitoring our health or giving us testing so that we can understand the effects of this whole thing on our individual lives and health.”

Barkdoll said, “Norfolk Southern, it’s not clear how much of this settlement might also be covered by insurance. Now they’re not required to disclose that, of course. $600 million is a big number. The market cap of Norfolk Southern is almost $60 billion. So just to put it in context, it’s a big number for them anyway you cut it and maybe it’s a combination of all the above. Maybe there’s some insurance payout, maybe some of it is just coming from their operational funds.”