April 10, 2008 | Mark Paradies

Cost of an Accident: Norfolk Southern & Avondale Mills Settle Lawsuit

On 1/6/05 a Norfolk Southern train derailed and ruptured a car carrying chlorine. The poisonous cloud spread throughout the small town of Graniteville. Nine people died, 250 were injured, and 5,400 people were evacuated.

The derailment occurred next door to the Avondale Mills, a textile manufacturer. Avondale Mills sued Norfolk Southern for $420 million in equipment damages.

It took over three years but on April 8th, after a four week trial, the parties settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed sum. 

Preventing an accident is surely less expensive than the legal wrangling that occurs after a major accident.

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