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According to a statement made by the man's attorney on Tuesday, April 19, 2011, this case is the first from the January 2005 wreck to be decided by a jury. There were nine total fatalities and 250 injuries -- some requiring medical treatment -- after a Norfolk Southern train veered off the track and rear-ended a parked train. The crew responsible for handling the parked train failed to switch the tracks back to the main rail, and the impact of the crash caused a train car carrying chlorine to rupture. A poisonous cloud was released over a nearby town.
The victim who received the jury award opted out of a class-action settlement between Norfolk Southern and hundreds of others who claim to have suffered crash-related injuries.
We are glad to hear of this victim's victory in the courtroom, as well as the fact that others who may have been injured are pursuing compensation. Railroad companies operating in South Carolina have a responsibility to ensure that train wrecks do not occur on their watch. As we can see from this case, sometimes it is not only the physical impact of the crash that causes harm.