KGNW recently asked Lin McCraw to come on the air in Seattle, WA to discuss the dozen class action lawsuits concerning the recent Ohio train derailment. In the interview, McCraw expressed that this situation brings out all types of cases, some of which may be very meritorious, and some may not. He said that public safety is one of the interesting areas of law in these types of disasters. By causing a witness for miles surrounding the area of the incident, those that may not have been impacted by the chemicals may still have a very good chance of succeeding in a lawsuit. McCraw predicts that potential changes may result in what they will and won’t allow the train companies to do regarding how long to make the trains and how to better weigh them. Also, safety changes may occur in the waiting of trains to prevent derailments due to making the trains longer. McCraw expressed that public safety rules are written in blood, meaning that typically what happens is that a disaster occurs and people look at it, conduct a root cause analysis, and update safety standards.
As for the Ohio train derailment, a controlled burn occurred because the other option was potentially allowing the chemicals to explode in a bomb. When Aaron Brockovich, a well-known environmental advocate, got involved, McCraw explained that patterns emerge when people put profit over safety. Train companies need to learn lessons and put safety first. McCraw predicts the industry will undergo a very big wake-up call because the Ohio train derailment was extremely lucky in that it did not result in massive loss of life.
As they continue to delve into the negligence aspect of this train derailment, McCraw expects that they will find some serious protocols and laws being broken. For instance, it is known that the train was probably weighted in the wrong manner, that the hot boxes detection system was not working properly, and that the heat detection systems were not working correctly either. All of this will be sorted out in a trial in court, and experts will pour over this data to help prevent burning at all.
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