Some families within certain distance of 2023 derailment may be entitled to thousands of dollars

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — 11 Investigates is learning for the first time how much money local families could get from a class action lawsuit against Norfolk Southern as a result of last February’s toxic train derailment and chemical release. This includes a significant number of folks in Beaver and Lawrence Counties, who are now getting letters in the mail.

Lead lawyer on the case, Jayne Conroy says a federal court will use a formula to determine who is eligible for what settlement, taking into account geographic location, proximity to the derailment, size of household, acreage and how long folks were displaced.

“The impact on the community as anyone can see from the videos, was so significant,” Jayne Conroy tells 11 Investigates. “We have so much expert data, results, sampling, we do have a pretty good idea of where impact was felt and where it’s likely to remain.”

Folks who live, work or run a business within the following radius of the derailment site could potentially see the following settlement amount, per household, on average:

  • 0-2 mile radius:  $70,000 per household, on average
  • 2-4 mile radius:  $45,000 per household on average
  • 4 to 7 mile radius:  $30,000 per household on average
  • 7-10 mile radius:   $15,000 per household on average
  • 10-15 mile radius:  $500 per household on average
  • 15-20 mile radius:  $250 per household on average

Conroy says these settlement estimates are with lawyer and expert fees already factored in.

“It never should have happened so how do you put a price on that?” Conroy added.  “It is significantly larger than any other train derailment settlement as far as our research is telling us. We think it brings relief to the community.”

To be eligible for the class action lawsuit, you must submit a claim by August 22, 2024.

If approved by a federal judge, payments could start going out as early as December, 2024.

Members of the class action lawsuit who were personally injured and live in a 0–10 mile radius, could see up to another $10,000 per person on average.

For more information, or to submit a claim, click here.

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