Class action lawsuit filed after train derailment


by Maggie Ruper

Posted on November 21, 2012 at 12:56 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 21 at 1:01 AM

WEST POINT, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A class action lawsuit was filed on Tuesday in Hardin County Circuit Court nearly a month after a train, carrying dangerous chemicals, derailed near West Point, Ky.
Attorney Jasper Ward filed the suit on behalf of residents and business owners who claim they suffered health problems and financial losses.

“We've gotten tons of calls from people over the past few weeks. These are people who don't file lawsuits, who don't have to turn to the courts, but what they say over and over again is, ‘We don't want this to happen to anybody else ever again,’” Ward said.

They’re suing P&L Railway, R.J. Corman, and ETEH, the company that gave the go ahead to use torches that sparked the explosion at the site two days later.

The lawsuit alleges multiple counts of wrongdoing, including negligence. It stated the defendants failed to operate the rail cars safely and failed to repair railroad ties that were rotted and decayed.
“An accident is something that happens when people don't have control over things. These people control their lines, they control their tracks, they control their cars. It's not an accident when people disregard public safety and are negligent,” Ward said.

P&L did compensate affected residents for some costs they incurred, but they said it’s not enough.
“This kind of one size fits all, here's $50, here's $100, isn't really helping people,” Ward said.

Ward said they want individual assessments. In the lawsuit they’re asking for all expenses to be covered including lost income, property damage and attorney’s fees.

P&L said they have not reviewed the lawsuit and couldn’t comment. Anyone who thinks they are owed compensation can be a part of the lawsuit. Ward is holding a town hall meeting on Friday, Nov. 30. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 409 South Street in West Point, Ky.