YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Attorneys for Norfolk Southern are opposing requests by three entities to escape any liability in the East Palestine train derailment class action lawsuit.
In motions filed Monday in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio before U.S. Judge Benita Y. Pearson, the railroad company said Trinity Industries, OxyVinyls and GATX Corp. and General Marks Company are all partly responsible for damages caused by the Feb. 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern in East Palestine carrying chemicals.
Because the chemicals, specifically vinyl chloride, were leaking, officials made a decision to burn them off, setting off a smoke cloud that appeared on newscasts across the world. The derailment also led to evacuations and prompted a flood of lawsuits.
The plaintiffs in the cases are seeking damages for economic losses caused by the derailment as well as for emotional distress.
Most of those lawsuits have been combined into a class action lawsuit, with Norfolk Southern filing third-party complaints against the three companies.
The three companies filed motions Sept. 19 asking that the complaints against them be dismissed.
Under civil procedure, the defendant in the case can file a claim against a third party, claiming that the third party is responsible for all or part of the damages in the case.
In their motions on Monday, Norfolk Southern laid out why they believe the companies are responsible for some or all of the damage.
OxyVinyls owned three of the cars that derailed and was the shipper for all five of the cars carrying vinyl chloride that derailed, according to Norfolk Southern’s motion. Norfolk Southern said OxyVinyls failed to make sure the cars were safe for transporting vinyl chloride.
GATX and Trinity owned the other two cars and also failed to make sure those cars could carry vinyl chloride and made unapproved modifications to the cars, Norfolk Southern wrote.
A hearing date has yet to be set for the motions.