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State Farm Sues Norfolk Southern Over Ohio Train Derailment Damages *Centurion Insurance AFS*

Feb 26, 2024 (0) comment , , , , , , , , , , ,

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State Farm Insurance brought forth a subrogation lawsuit last week against Norfolk Southern over damages to a pair of East Palestine, Ohio homes allegedly caused by the railroad company’s February 2023 train derailment.

State Farm filed a complaint in Columbiana County, Ohio Common Pleas Court seeking judgment of more than $85,000 for payouts to two homeowners whose property was damaged by chemical fires.

East Palestine resident Justin Daubenmire claimed $39,374 for damage to the insured’s personal property and $32,025 for damage to his real property. State Farm paid Daubenmire in the amount of $71,199, subject to a $2,799 deductible.

Another East Palestine resident, Barbara Georgescu, claimed $13,051 of personal property damage, of which State Farm paid the full amount.

State Farm claims the insureds’ property damage was a direct and proximate result of negligence from Norfolk Southern. The railroad company was carrying hazardous materials, including vinyl chloride, when its train derailed in East Palestine on Feb. 3, 2023. The hazardous chemicals and materials ignited, resulting in a fire which created toxic fumes, smoke and soot, State Farm’s claim says.

Norfolk Southern said last month that the total cost of the derailment near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border will top $1.1 billion. The railroad company said it has received $101 million in insurance payments.

An Ohio business owner sued Norfolk Southern last year for $500 million, saying most of his East Ohio companies have remained closed since the derailment. Norfolk Southern said at the time it had reached confidential settlements with 11 businesses and offering $1.8 million to 55 others.

Photo: This photo taken with a drone shows portions of a Norfolk and Southern freight train that derailed Friday night in East Palestine, Ohio are still on fire at mid-day Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

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