Norfolk Southern to pay $600 million settlement to East Palestine residents, businesses after derailment

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Norfolk Southern has announced a $600 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit linked to a fiery train derailment in February 2023 in East Palestine.

The company stated on Tuesday that pending court approval, the agreement will resolve all class action claims within a 20-mile radius of the derailment and personal injury claims within a 10-mile radius for participating residents.

Compensation from the settlement can be utilized by both individuals and businesses for various purposes like healthcare needs, property restoration, and mitigation of net business loss resulting from the incident. Residents within a 10-mile radius may opt for additional compensation related to past, present, or future personal injuries caused by the derailment.

Norfolk Southern emphasized that the settlement does not indicate any acknowledgement of liability, misconduct, or blame. The settlement is anticipated to undergo preliminary approval at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in late April, with payments to class members potentially commencing by year-end, subject to final court endorsement.

The company has already allocated over $1.1 billion towards addressing the aftermath of the derailment, which included more than $104 million in direct assistance to East Palestine and its inhabitants.