First lawsuit filed over toxic train derailment - WDRB 41 Louisville News

First lawsuit filed over toxic train derailment

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- (WDRB) Health problems, loss of business, and emotional stress. Those are just some of the claims made in the first lawsuit filed over the toxic train derailment.

The suit could eventually include thousands of people. It was filed yesterday on behalf of four people. But if the attorney has his way, anyone who lives or works near the accident site could receive compensation.

Two of the mangled cars are still visible off the tracks along Dixie Highway. They have been marked as "cleaned and purged" of any dangerous chemicals.

Although the emergency is over, attorney Jasper Ward says those who live and work nearby are still suffering.

"It really runs the gamut from people who have been physically injured, to people who have lost businesses and lost business and lost customers, and everything in between," said Ward.

Ward represents four people impacted by the derailment, chemical spill and partial closing of Dixie Highway. But he wants a judge to certify the suit as a class action; meaning he could represent anyone within a 5 mile radius of the incident -- potentially more than 10-thousand people.

"That's why people file this is to make sure everybody who was affected by this is fairly compensated," said Ward.

Cindy Rutledge, owner of the Star Cafe in West Point, says the derailment cost her two weeks worth of business.

Her employees have already received compensation from P & L Railroad, and she plans to file a claim for her business soon. But Rutledge says she's not ready to go to court just yet.

"I hope we don't need it. That's my main thing. I hope that they're going to do what they say they're going to do, which is take care of us," said Rutledge.

But Ward says he wants to make sure victims are taken care of not just now but for the long-term.

"Everybody's goal in this is to make sure people are protected, to make sure people are compensated for what they've been through and what they may go through in the future, and then to make sure this never happens to anybody ever again."

Copyright 2012 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

The suit names several companies as defendants. including P & L Railroad.

Ward plans to hold a public meeting in West Point next Friday night to talk to residents about the lawsuit.

LS WDRB News.

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