First Lawsuit Filed Over Gloucester County Train Derailment of November 30, 2012
On December 6, 2012, Alice Breeman, individually and as guardian for her children, filed suit against Consolidated Rail Corp., Norfolk Southern Railway Co. and CSX Transportation, Inc. in Breeman et al. v. Consolidated Rail Corp., Docket No. 12-07468 (D.N.J. Dec. 6, 2012). The lawsuit alleges theories of negligence in response to the freight train derailment and railroad bridge collapse that occurred on November 30, 2012 in Gloucester County, New Jersey.
Breeman is seeking a monetary award of over two million in compensatory and punitive damages. The November 30, 2012 derailment resulted in the release of over 12,000 gallons of hazardous chemical vinyl chloride into the air and water. Vinyl chloride is a highly toxic and flammable industrial chemical used to make plastic and vinyl products. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, short term exposure to high levels of the chemical in the air may result in dizziness, drowsiness and headaches in humans. Long term exposure through inhalation and oral exposure may result in liver damage and an increased risk for a rare form of liver cancer.