CSX and others sued in St. Clair County over Kentucky train derailment

By Andrea Dearden | Mar 20, 2013


A St. Clair County man says he was hurt in an explosion while cleaning up a train derailment in Kentucky.

Leonard Anthony Carrillo filed a lawsuit Feb. 20 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against CSX Transportation Inc., the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health LLC and Paducah & Louisville Railway Inc. P&L Transportation Inc. and Four Rivers Transportation are also named as defendants.

According to the complaint, a 57-car train was traveling between Paducah and Louisville in October 2012 when it derailed near the intersection of Dixie Highway and Highway 44 in the city of West Point.  Some of the derailed cars allegedly contained hazardous chemicals including butadiene, a flammable gas used to make synthetic rubber.
After the crash, according to the lawsuit, CSX, Four Rivers, P&L Railway and P&L Transportation hired the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health (CTEH) to monitor the area for toxic gases and chemicals during the clean-up process. The defendants also contracted with a Caseyville company, RJ Corman Railroad Group, to assist with the clean up. Carrillo says he worked for RJ Corman at the time and was sent to the crash site.

Two days after the crash, CTEH allegedly declared the site safe for the RJ Corman crew to begin using a cutting torch to detach the two cars that were leaking butadiene gas.  However, Carrillo claims when the torch was lit it caused an explosion. He says he was seriously hurt in the blast.

Carrillo accuses the defendants of negligence for allegedly failing to properly monitor the crash site for dangerous chemicals in the area, giving the go ahead to begin work with a torch despite the presence of flammable gases and failing to provide a safe work environment. He seeks a judgement of more than $250,000 in damages and court costs.

Attorneys Robert A. Clifford, Kevin P. Durkin and Colin H. Dunn of Chicago and Brad L. Badgley of Belleville represent Carrillo. They ask for a jury trial.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 13-L-91

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