Two St. Clair County lawsuits filed the same day by the same attorneys against CSX Transportation after an explosion near a railroad in West Point, Ky. have been removed to federal court.

Leonard Anthony Carrillo of St. Clair County filed suit Feb. 20 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against CSX Transportation, Inc., the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health LLC, Paducah & Louisville Railway Inc. P&L Transportation Inc. and Four Rivers Transportation.

Carillo claimed he was hurt in an explosion while cleaning a train derailment of a 57-car train, traveling between Paducah and Louisville. Some of the derailed cars allegedly contained butadiene, a flammable gas.

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 toxic gases and chemicals during clean-up.

The defendants also contracted with a Caseyville company, RJ Corman Railroad Group, to assist. Carrillo allegedly worked for RJ Corman and was sent to the crash site.

Carrillo accused the defendants of negligence for allegedly failing to properly monitor the crash site for dangerous chemicals and failing to provide a safe work environment.

The second lawsuit was filed by cleanup worker Gregory Powers. He sued some of the same companies for allegedly causing his injuries during cleanup of the same derailment.

Powers claims defendant CSX Transportation hired him and others from the RJ Corman Railroad Group crew to clean the site. On Oct. 31, Powers was told to detach two cars leaking butadiene and then instructed to use an acetylene cutting torch, which exploded when lit, Powers claims.

Powers sustained permanent injuries, according to the complaint.

He blames CSX, P&L Transportation and Four Rivers Transportation for causing his injuries, saying they authorized the use of the torch and failed to designate a person to determine it was okay to utilize fire at the scene.

Powers also named the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health and Paducah and Louisville Railway a defendant, saying they negligently authorized hot work despite explosives and failed to monitor the air for hazardous gases.

Attorneys Robert A. Clifford, Kevin P. Durkin and Colin H. Dunn of Chicago and Brad L. Badgley of Belleville represent the plaintiffs.

Charles J. Swartwout and Michael Hermann of Boyle Brasher in Belleville represent CSX Transportation, and James P. McCarthy and David Page of Gunty & McCarthy in Chicago represent the defense.

St. Clair County Circuit Court cases 13-L-90 and 13-L-91.

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