Tamaroa train derailment leads to suit in St. Clair

By Ann Knef | Feb 8, 2005

A train derailment that spilled harmful chemicals into the air, ground and water in Tamaroa, Ill. on Feb. 9, 2003, has prompted a local man's widow to file suit.

Diana George, on behalf of her deceased husband, Harold George, filed suit Feb. 3 against Illinois Central Railroad in St. Clair County Circuit Court seeking more than $60,000 in damages. She claims the derailment of 21 tank cars that leaked hydrochloric acid, vinyl chloride, formaldeyde, methanol and other chemicals ultimately led to her husband's death on Aug. 29, 2003.

According to the suit, the chemicals caused Harold George to suffer from bleeding ulcers and other ailments.

In the suit, Diana George claims she and her children have been deprived of their means of support and companionship.

"They have also been deprived of other large sums of money and valuable services that decedent was accustomed to contribute to them and would have continued to so contribute but for his death," according to the complaint.

In count IV of the suit, Diana George seeks to recover personal injury damages, claiming the accident caused her severe, permanent, progressive internal and external injuries.

"Diana George suffered from a stomach ailment, headaches, welts, sores, a nervous condition and a loss of weight," the suit states.

The four-count wrongful death, negligence lawsuit claims that after the initial derailment, there were two subsequent dates--Feb. 20 and May 7, 2003, when "futher discharges or leaks of harmful chemicals" occurred.

George alleges that Illlinois Central, doing business as Canadian National/Illinois Central Railroad, was negligent because it failed to:

  • Prevent spills and leaks of harmful chemicals

  • Manage spills

  • Properly operate the train in question

  • Prevent leaks and discharges of harmful chemicals; and, among other things,

  • Manage the derailment.

    George is represented by Del A. Goldenhersh of the Belleville firm, Goldenhersh & Goldenhersh.

    05L68 20th Judicial Circuit

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