Another Norfolk Southern Train Derails Near East Palestine
A freight train carrying agricultural products derailed about thirty miles from East Palestine, the scene of one of the most devastating train derailments in recent American history.
The derailment happened in New Castle, Pennsylvania, according to the city’s police and fire departments. No injuries were reported. Officials reassured area residents that no toxic substances were released. “We have noticed many comments reporting a white powder spilling into the water and ‘strange smells’ in the area,” the department said. “The only product that escaped one of the cars was soybeans. The only ‘hazardous material’ car that derailed is carrying paraffin wax.”
Over the last several months, Norfolk Southern trains have also derailed in Michigan and between Dayton and Columbus, Ohio.
What Happened in East Palestine?
Investigators believe that a mechanical breakdown caused a serious train derailment that spread toxic gas over three states. Later down the road, that gas could cause a number of serious chronic illnesses, such as:
- Cancer: Toxins alter cell chemistry and cause them to multiply much faster than they should. This accelerated division causes tumors which, because of the toxic substances in the body, are often malignant. Modern cancer treatments are most effective if doctors get a head start. Unfortunately, environmental toxin cancer has a very long latency period, making it difficult or impossible to get a head start.
- Breathing Problems: Toxic substances burn the lung’s narrow breathing passageways, leaving scar tissue. These passageways often aren’t much bigger than the tip of a pencil. So, any scar tissue causes severe breathing problems, even if the victim is at rest and especially if the victim has a pre-existing condition.
Pre-existing conditions are usually irrelevant for negligence and damages purposes. A Columbus personal injury attorney can still obtain maximum compensation in these cases because a defendant cannot take advantage of a victim’s vulnerability.
These victims have immediate damages as well. Lost property value is a good example. Overnight, home values in East Palestine plummeted. No one wants to buy a home in a hazardous substances zone.
Subsequent Events and Negligence
As outlined above, a Ohio train derailment attorney obtains compensation based on what happened at the incident, not before what happened. The same basic rule applies to subsequent events. For example, victim/plaintiffs usually cannot use subsequent remedial events to prove prior negligence.
Assume Billy drowns in Alice’s swimming pool. After that incident, Alice installs upgraded pool safety features, like a higher gate and a water alarm. These measures are basically admissions that the pool was unsafe when Billy drowned. Because these admissions are so damaging, plaintiffs usually cannot use them. According to the law, to do otherwise would discourage defendants, Alice in this case, from making safety upgrades.
However, subsequent events may be relevant for other purposes, such as ownership or control. For example, if Alice claimed that she didn’t own the pool, the subsequent remedial measures are evidence that she was the owner.
Additionally, subsequent remedial measures, or the lack thereof, are almost always relevant for damages purposes.
So, when an attorney builds a case, an attorney must focus on the facts of that case. Any other admissible events are a bonus.
Connect With a Savvy Franklin County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Columbus, contact the Oliver Law Office. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.