Lawsuit sites defective train car design after derailment

A products liability lawsuit can arise following any number of mistakes made during the manufacturing and marketing of a product. In Tennessee, consumers may cite a defective design as the cause of an injury or death. As a recent train derailment illustrates, poor design and construction in transportation can lead to major events that affect a significant number of people.

On July 1 of this year, a train carrying 84 cars derailed in Maryville, Tennessee. According to a lawsuit, 27 of those cars were carrying items such as asphalt, propane and acrylonitrile. A car holding acrylonitrile caught fire after it was dragged for more than 9 miles, court documents note. The chemical seeped into the area when the car came to a stop.

Local law enforcement responded to the scene, unknowingly exposing themselves to the acrylonitrile as well as hydrogen cyanide in the smoke coming from the train. They spent several hours on-site without breathing protection equipment and did not know that the burning chemicals were toxic. Ten officers were hospitalized as a result of the incident, and the lawsuit notes that their health is still suffering.

In the lawsuit, the design of the Union Tank Car Company tank car is cited as defective and deficient. The suit also claims that the company did not properly maintain, inspect or service the car. CSX Transportation is also listed as a defendant in the lawsuit, as the plaintiffs allege that the train and the tracks were not correctly operated, designed, inspected, repaired or maintained. Anyone who has experienced a serious injury or illness as the result of a poorly designed or constructed item should consult with an attorney.

Source: Local 8 Now, "Law enforcement officers sue CSX, UTLX after train derailment in Blount Co.," Aug. 19, 2015

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