Norfolk Southern Announces $600 Million Settlement With East Palestine Residents Over Train Derailment
This video screenshot released by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) shows the site of a derailed freight train in East Palestine, Ohio, the United States. About 50 Norfolk Southern freight train cars derailed on the night of Feb. 3 in East Palestine, a town of 4,800 residents near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, due to a mechanical problem on an axle of one of the vehicles. There were a total of 20 hazardous material cars in the train consist, 10 of which derailed, according to the NTSB, a U.S. government agency responsible for civil transportation accident investigation.
Credit: NTSB/Handout via Xinhua.

Train operator Norfolk Southern said Tuesday that it has reached a $600 million deal in principle to settle a class-action lawsuit related to the massive derailment last year in East Palestine, Ohio, which led to the release of toxic chemicals into the air and widespread economic and environmental damage. 

The Atlanta-based company said the settlement, which still needs to be approved by a court, was part of its promise “to make it right for the people of East Palestine and the surrounding communities.”

“If approved by the court, the agreement will resolve all class action claims within a 20-mile radius from the derailment and, for those residents who choose to participate, personal injury claims within a 10-mile radius from the derailment,” Norfolk Southern said. 

“The company is going further through this comprehensive settlement — providing additional, significant monetary relief to individuals, including for healthcare, and to help qualifying local businesses continue to rebuild and grow,” the train operator said. “The agreement is designed to provide finality and flexibility for settlement class members. Individuals and businesses will be able to use compensation from the settlement in any manner they see fit to address potential adverse impacts from the derailment.”

Money from the settlement could go toward healthcare, medical monitoring, property restoration and diminution, compensation for any net business loss due, and any other loss due to the disaster.

After the February 2023 derailment, responders busted open several train cars and burned the vinyl chloride chemicals inside, releasing toxic fumes into the area. The chemicals were burned over concerns that the train cars could explode, but National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy said last month that the burn was not justified.

Norfolk Southern added that the settlement doesn’t mean admitting any wrongdoing or fault. Former federal district judge Layn Phillips helped to mediate the negotiations. 


The railway company is facing an additional lawsuit from the Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency to require Norfolk Southern to pay for the entire disaster cleanup.

“With this complaint, the Justice Department and the EPA are acting to pursue justice for the residents of East Palestine and ensure that Norfolk Southern carries the financial burden for the harm it has caused and continues to inflict on the community,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement after the lawsuit was filed. 

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Norfolk Southern Announces $600 Million Settlement With East Palestine Residents Over Train Derailment