Can the People in Eastern Palestine Ohio Sue?

Yes, and they are. For those who were displaced and experienced upheaval since the train derailment that spilled toxic chemicals in Palestine, Ohio, their only recourse is to bring a class action lawsuit against the Norfolk Southern Railroad Company.

On February 3, 2023, a freight train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in the town of Palestine, Ohio. To avoid a catastrophic explosion, a trench was dug out and then filled with the toxic freight and lit ablaze in a controlled explosion.

What Chemicals Was the Train Transporting?

In the 150-car train, while many of the cars carrying non-hazardous materials, 20 of the cars carried some very dangerous chemicals and cancer-causing chemicals including:

  • Vinyl chloride. This gas is used to create PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipes, construction materials, packaging, and other products, according to the EPA. It was involved in the controlled burn conducted after the derailment.
  • Isobutylene. This gas can be used in the production of butyl rubber, antioxidants for foods and plastics, and aviation gasoline, according to the National Library of Medicine.
  • Butyl acrylate. This liquid is used to make paints, adhesives, sealants, and other products, according to the National Library of Medicine.
  • Benzene. This liquid has a wide range of uses, according to the EPA, including as a solvent and in the manufacture of goods like detergents and explosives. This chemical was not transported on the train at the time of the derailment, but officials said residue from previous shipments remained on the train cars, the Associated Press reported.
  • Ethylhexyl acrylate. This liquid is used in the manufacturing of paints and plastics, according to the National Library of Medicine.
  • Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether. This liquid is used as a solvent and in the production of paint and varnish, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Norfolk Southern Railway is facing several lawsuits, On Wednesday, two plaintiffs filed suit, Aysia Canterbury, and Lisa Sodergen. The claim states that the train derailment unleashed an astonishing 1.1 million pounds of carcinogenic vinyl chloride into the atmosphere in one week! That amount eclipses what all industrial emitters produced combined during 2021.

Lawsuits Filed in Palestine Ohion over Derailment

As of this print, there are a total of eight lawsuits facing Norfolk Southern Railway.

In addition to these documents, an open letter from the CEO of Norfolk Southern Railway has been made public. 

If you or someone you love has been affected by a train accident or experienced effects from toxic pollutants, contact our experienced personal injury lawyers to schedule a free consultation.


Isaacs-Thomas, B. (2023, February 16). What we know about the chemicals aboard the train that derailed in Ohio. Retrieved February 18, 2023, from

Baker, J. E. (2023, February 17). Eight lawsuits filed against Norfolk Southern over train derailment, ‘chemical burn’. Retrieved February 18, 2023, from

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