A Wayne County man has filed a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern Corp. for exposing communities in the Detroit area to “potential significant harm” when it transported and disposed of hazardous waste from last month’s Ohio train derailment to Wayne County facilities.
According to the lawsuit, the company endangered the community by not properly monitoring the toxic waste before it was dumped at the Republican Industrial and Energy Solutions facility in Romulus and the U.S. Ecology Wayne Disposal landfill in Belleville.
“The toxic and hazardous chemical material can contaminate groundwater, soil, and air, causing serious health risks and environmental damage,” the lawsuit alleges. “Without adequate safeguards and monitoring, the risk of harm will persist unabated.”
More than 1 million gallons of hazardous materials and pollutants were released into the environment following the train derailment on the night of Feb.3 in East Palestine, Ohio. Since then, Norfolk Southern has been scrambling to find places to dump hazardous materials.
More than 300,000 gallons of liquid hazardous waste were dumped in the Romulus well, and about 440 tons of solid waste were deposited in the Belleville landfill, according to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. The news caused a public outcry from residents and local officials, prompting the Environmental Protection Agency to halt more shipments of hazardous waste to Wayne County.
The lawsuit asks the court to order Norfolk Southern to immediately cease the transportation and dumping of toxic chemicals from Ohio to Michigan, and to take any necessary steps “to remediate the harm caused by its recent activities, including necessary oversight, testing, and sampling of the containment area, and necessary maintenance to ensure proper containment.”
Who can you sue for environmental pollution?
In the state of Michigan, several parties can potentially be sued for environmental pollution, depending on the circumstances. Here are some examples:
Companies or individuals responsible for the pollution
If a company or an individual is responsible for the pollution, they can be sued for damages. This could include companies that release pollutants into the air, water, or soil, or individuals who dump hazardous waste illegally. To file a lawsuit, you need to speak with knowledgeable Detroit personal injury lawyers, as you will have to prove that your health issues were directly caused by the actions of that company. This may require finding experts who can testify that exposure to certain pollutants can cause an ailment such as yours.
Property owners or operators
Property owners or operators who allow pollution to occur on their land can be held liable for environmental damage. This could include property owners who fail to properly dispose of waste or who allow pollutants to leach into the groundwater.
Government agencies can also be sued for environmental pollution if they are responsible for managing or regulating activities that lead to pollution. For example, a government agency that issues permits to companies that allow them to pollute can be held liable for damages.
Contractors who work on projects that lead to environmental pollution can also be held liable for damages. For example, a construction company that dumps waste into a river during a project can be sued for environmental damage.
Have you been injured following exposure to environmental pollution?
If you or a loved one were injured after being exposed to certain pollutants, the experienced attorneys at the Neumann Law Group can help. Our personal injury attorneys have many years of experience working on such cases. Through our dedicated representation, we have secured significant compensation for our injured clients and their families. To learn more and schedule a free initial consultation, call our office at 800-525-6386.