First suit filed over Paulsboro wreck seeks $10 million

The first lawsuit over last week’s train derailment and chemical spill in Paulsboro, New Jersey, was filed just before the first evacuees stepped back into their homes.

On Thursday, a resident filed suit in Camden District Court seeking $10 million dollars from the rail companies.

The Paulsboro woman has developed a bad cough says her lawyer, Mitchell Kaye. He’s making a case for $150,000 for her injuries and $10 million in damages “to awaken the railroad,” he says, “to the completely outrageous behavior on their part.”

Kaye says early details from the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation suggest the rail operators made mistakes.

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In any case, the results were disastrous: a freight train derailed as it crossed a bridge and released hazardous vinyl chloride gas into the air.

Conrail spokesman Michael Hotra declined to comment on the specifics of the case.

“We will address the litigation at the appropriate time. Today our focus is on helping residents assess the air quality at their homes and provide assistance,” Hotra said.

On Friday afternoon, law enforcement officers started escorting residents of the 150 households evacuated after the accident back to their homes.

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