Ohio Attorney General sues Norfolk Southern

City sign for East Palestine, Ohio

Macey Austin

City sign for East Palestine, Ohio

Blake Pierce, Reporter

The Ohio attorney general has filed a lawsuit in federal court looking to hold Norfolk Southern financially responsible for the Feb. 3 train derailment that caused a release of hazardous chemicals in East Palestine, Ohio.

The lawsuit cites the company’s accident rate rising 80% over the last decade,

with the occurrence of at least 20 Norfolk Southern derailments involving chemical discharges since 2015.

“The derailment was just one in a long string of Norfolk Southern train derailments,” the lawsuit stated. “The derailment was entirely avoidable and the direct result of Norfolk Southern’s practice of putting its own profits above the health, safety and welfare of the communities.”

The lawsuit accuses Norfolk Southern of 58 violations of various federal, state and Ohio common laws, declaring that the state, its citizens and its businesses are entitled to recover from the economic losses incurred.

“Ohio shouldn’t have to bear the tremendous financial burden of Norfolk Southern’s glaring negligence,” Attorney General Dave Yost said. “The fallout from this highly preventable incident may continue for years to come.

Yost also requests that the court require Norfolk Southern to conduct future monitoring of soil and groundwater and submit their finding to the Ohio EPA.

“We are listening closely to concerns from the community,” Norfolk Southern said in response to the lawsuit.