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Recent Train Derailments: Insurance & Litigation Impacts

Posted on February 21, 2023

There has been much media coverage regarding recent train derailments, including the Norfolk Southern derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. This derailment forced nearly 4,700 residents away from their homes. The main concern was 20 of the 50 cars that left the track in East Palestine carried hazardous materials, including vinyl chloride. In addition to residents evacuating their homes, people have reported the death of fish, chickens, and other animals. Claims of human health impacts and property damage are expected.

How Can Roux Assist?
The mix of factors anticipates a spectrum of litigation issues. Roux’s scientific and engineering experts can assist in understanding and assessing potential liabilities in areas such as appropriateness of emergency response, chemical transport in soil and groundwater, human health risk exposure assessment, ecological risk assessment and toxicology, and reasonableness of treatment design and costs. Roux’s economists are damages experts in the areas of exposure and bodily injury, business interruption, property value diminution, agricultural economics, and natural resource economics including natural resource damage assessment (NRDA).

In addition, Roux has experience with large and small insurance claims on property and general liability policies, as well as pollution policies. Roux has allocated costs between first and third parties on-site and off-site, and has categorized costs based on activities conducted during emergency response and remediation efforts. Roux has also cataloged costs associated with evacuations and inconvenience fees. Working with multiple carriers within a tower of insurance, Roux can assist with cost sharing agreements in order to keep expenditures reasonable.

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