Widow sues Norfolk Southern after husband decapitated whereas coaching to be a conductor
An Alabama girl whose husband was decapitated whereas coaching to be a Norfolk Southern conductor closing yr has filed a wrongful lack of life lawsuit in opposition to the embattled rail agency.
Walter James Griffin III, 43, was killed throughout the early morning hours of Dec. 13, in Bessemer, Alabama.
He was throughout the cab with one different conductor when their put together handed by a parked freight automotive with a protruding beam that crashed by the use of the window and struck Griffin throughout the head, killing him, Al.com reported.
Investigators deemed the incident a “freak accident.”
Griffin’s widow, Sherita Fields, filed the go nicely with in opposition to Norfolk Southern, U.S. Pipe Fabrication and others for wrongful lack of life in in Jefferson County Circuit Court in January.
Attorneys for Griffin’s family alleged throughout the go nicely with that the railway is at fault for not accurately inspecting the put together and freight automotive — every of which have been owned by Norfolk Southern. They are searching for unspecified damages.
“I see how it was described as a freak accident, but I do not think that is a proper characterization of it,” Griffin family lawyer David Brown knowledgeable WRBC. “This is something that is preventable, this is not just a random type of situation. This is something where there was clear fault by the individuals involved.”
“[The metal beam] shouldn’t protrude in the first place,” he continued. “The law requires entities to do inspections of their loads before they actually leave the property. We see a very straightforward situation where the folks at Norfolk Southern and the folks at U.S. Pipe, where the train car departed from earlier, should have done their jobs and inspected it.”
The National Transportation Safety Board is now investigating the incident, in accordance with the outlet.
“I really want them to take it seriously. It’s happening over and over again. I’d hate for someone else to lose their loved one,” Fields, 44, knowledgeable the Daily Mail.
She and Griffin shared a 14-year-old daughter collectively.
“Walter was a family man, a hard-working man, he loved his family. Our daughter Tatyana is still dealing with this, and she’s going day by day, too,” Fields knowledgeable the outlet.
She talked about Griffin preferred working with the railway, although he struggled with the prolonged hours, and had been on the job for about six months sooner than the incident.
Norfolk Southern beneath fireside
The lawsuit comes as Norfolk Southern faces litigation following the environmental disaster that ensued after a put together derailment in East Palestine, Ohio closing month. Gallons of toxic chemical compounds have been launched into the air, prompting mass evacuations of the small neighborhood alongside the Pennsylvania border.
An entire of 1.1 million gallons of water and 15,000 kilos of soil have been contaminated.
On Monday, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a go nicely with in opposition to Norfolk Southern claiming the Feb 3 derailment was “entirely avoidable” and a outcomes of the company valuing earnings over the nicely being and safety of people.
The extended, 58-count lawsuit claims the company was negligent in allowing defective trains and put together operations to infect the state’s pure property and threaten human and environmental nicely being.
Norfolk Southern has seen a nearly 80% improve in its accident cost over the earlier decade with 20 derailments since 2015 main to chemical discharges, the AG alleges.
Yost moreover claimed that the native monetary system has suffered due to the crash.
“The citizens of the region have been displaced, their lives interrupted and their businesses shuttered,” the courtroom papers value.
“Ohio shouldn’t have to bear the tremendous financial burden of Norfolk Southern’s glaring negligence,” Yost talked about in a press launch. “The fallout from this highly preventable incident may continue for years to come, and there’s still so much we don’t know about the long-term effects on our air, water and soil.”
The go nicely with seeks unspecified damages for misplaced taxes, monetary losses, and civil penalties.
Last week, Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw was grilled all through a listening to sooner than a US Senate Committee for the derailment.
Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown accused the rail agency of following “the Wall Street business model: Boost profits by cutting costs at all costs. The consequences for places like East Palestine be damned,” noting that Norfolk Southern had decrease 38% of its workforce whereas spending $3.4 billion on stock buybacks beforehand 10 years.
Shaw apologized and talked about the company has pledged $21 million in assist for East Palestine alone, along with $7.5 million for communities all through the Ohio border in Pennsylvania.
“I am determined to make this right. Norfolk Southern will clean the site safely, thoroughly and with urgency. You have my personal commitment. Norfolk Southern will get the job done and help East Palestine thrive,” he talked about.
Hours sooner than Shaw’s apology, one different Norfolk Southern put together derailed in Alabama, although there have been no reported leaks.
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