Norfolk Southern reaches $600M settlement related to Ohio train derailment

Norfolk Southern derailment clean up

Officials with Norfolk Southern announced Tuesday that the rail company has agreed to pay $600 million to settle a class-action lawsuit related to last year’s fiery train derailment near East Palestine, Ohio.

>> Read more trending news

If approved by a court, the agreement will resolve all class action claims within a 20-mile radius of the derailment and, for residents who wish to participate, personal injury claims within a 10-mile radius, the company said.

The funds will be available to individuals and businesses to address adverse impacts from the derailment, including any healthcare needs, property restoration and compensation for business loss, Norfolk Southern said.

The agreement is expected to be submitted to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio later in April for preliminary approval. Norfolk Southern noted Tuesday that the settlement does not include or constitute an admission of liability, wrongdoing or fault.

A Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials derailed and caught fire near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border on the night of Feb. 3, 2023, sending thick plumes of smoke into the air and prompting evacuations and environmental concerns. Three days after the derailment, authorities performed a controlled explosion to release vinyl chloride from from five of the cars, heightening concerns about the toxic chemical.

Norfolk Southern has already spent more than $1.1 billion in response to the train derailment, including $104 million in community assistance, company officials said. Cleanup of East Palestine is expected to be complete sometime later this year, The Associated Press reported, citing the Environmental Protection Agency.

Last year, the National Transportation Safety Board said surveillance video taken from the area appeared to show a wheel bearing overheating moments before the February 2023 derailment. Authorities continue to investigate the circumstances leading to the incident.

Comments on this article