On February 3, 2023, a tanker train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. The derailment sparked a fire and multiple explosions. Some of the train cars were tankers carrying chemicals. After the derailment, hundreds of residents were evacuated from the surrounding area, and many others were told to shelter in place.
Officials decided to begin a controlled burn of vinyl chloride due to the risk of the tankers exploding and causing even more damage to surrounding areas. They warned that toxic gases (including phosgene and hydrogen chloride) would be released into the atmosphere. A few days later, the evacuation order was lifted as monitoring determined that the level of toxic chemicals in the air and water were below safe limits.
About a week and a half after the incident, the consequences of the derailment and the controlled burn have become obvious. Hundreds of fish have died in the Leslie Run Stream in East Palestine, Ohio; foxes, coyotes, and birds have also been harmed.
Reportedly, small amounts of chemicals have been identified in the Ohio River, which supplies over 5 million people with drinking water. Although officials have determined the water to be safe to use, precautions have been taken, including treating the water, for example.
Some of the chemicals that were released into the air, soil, and water include vinyl chloride, butyl acrylate, ethylhexyl acrylate, and ethylene glycol monobutyl ether.
Unfortunately, potentially millions of people will be exposed to these toxic chemicals. Exposure to toxic chemicals can lead to different types of cancers and other health complications. If you or a loved one suffers any harm associated with the toxic chemicals released after the train derailment, you could have grounds to sue and recover compensation.
For more information about the legal options available to you and your family, we recommend that you seek legal assistance with the experts here at our law firm immediately. Here at the Downtown L.A. Law Group, we have decades of experience handling all sorts of claims, including cases of injury or death resulting from exposure to toxic chemicals. Our lawyers are more than ready to evaluate your claim and provide you with the guidance that you need to sue and recover the compensation that you are owed.
For more information, contact the experts here at our firm today.
The Toxic Chemicals Released in the Derailment and Known Consequences to Exposure
As mentioned above, some of the toxic chemicals released into the air, soil, and water, include vinyl chloride, butyl acrylate, ethylhexyl acrylate, and ethylene glycol monobutyl ether. Below, we will go through the known health risks associated with said chemicals.
- Vinyl chloride – the chemical is associated with cancers, including hepatic angiosarcoma (a rare liver cancer), primary liver cancer, brain cancer, lung cancer, lymphoma, and leukemia.
- Butyl acrylate – the chemical is associated with headaches, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Direct contact can result in irritations and burns. Inhalation can cause irritation in the nose, throat, and lungs; permanent lung damage can occur.
- Ethylhexyl acrylate – when ingested, it can result in gastrointestinal irritation or ulcers.
- Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether – the chemical can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. It can also affect the central nervous system, the blood, the kidneys, and the liver.
Some of the toxic chemicals mentioned above have also been associated with an increased risk of miscarriage and birth defects. If you or a loved one were exposed to any of the toxic chemicals mentioned above, you could have the right to file a lawsuit.
Your Right to Sue
You could have the right to sue for the harm that you or a loved one suffered because of the toxic chemicals released into the water due to the train derailment. However, considering that many other people were also affected by the contaminated water, a class action lawsuit is likely. If you develop any harm, you could participate in a class action lawsuit. For more information about your rights, we recommend that you seek legal assistance with the experts here at our law firm as soon as possible.
You Could Have the Right to Recover Compensation
You could be entitled to monetary compensation for the harm that you or a loved one suffered due to exposure to toxic chemicals in your water. Some of the compensation that you could recover include the following:
- Medical costs
- Mental health/counseling costs
- Lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
- Legal fees
- Wrongful death benefits: including loss of financial support, funeral/burial costs, loss of consortium
You might also have questions about how much you could recover and how long it could take to settle your case. In the past, toxic water cancer cases, for example, have settled for millions of dollars. Of course, cancer is just one of the possible consequences of exposure to toxic water. In general, these types of cases can be worth anywhere from $150,000 to $750,000, although they can be worth much more given the harm suffered. Some cases can be settled in as little as six to eight months; however, even minor complications can result in significant delays. In general, these cases can take up to two years to settle. Class action lawsuits, specifically, can take much longer than just two years to settle.
If you have any questions about the average value of these cases, the possible value of your case, or the time that it could take to settle your case, contact the experts here at our law firm immediately. Our lawyers are ready to fight for your right to receive the highest settlement available within a reasonable length of time.
Contact the Downtown L.A. Law Group Today
The toxic chemical spill resulting from the train derailment can have potentially devastating consequences to many of the over 5 million people who depend on the Ohio River for water. If you or a member of your family develop cancer or any other health condition that can be directly related to the exposure to toxic chemicals, it is important that you seek legal assistance as soon as possible.
Here at the Downtown L.A. Law Group, our lawyers are more than ready to provide you with absolutely all the information that you need to begin or continue your claim. We offer free legal services, including free consultations and free second opinions. During these free legal services, our expert toxic water lawyers will be available to provide you with all the information that you need to begin or continue your claim. To benefit from these free legal services, contact us today.
Our Zero-Fee guarantee ensures that our clients will never be required to pay any upfront legal fees for any of our legal services. In addition, we work on contingency, so there will not be any legal fees until we reach a successful settlement.
Contact us today to speak with our lawyers and learn more about your right to sue.