In re Paulsboro Derailment Cases, Lord v. Consolidated Rail Corporation, Dist. Ct. (Kugler, U.S.D.J.) (7 pp.)
This case arises out of the November 30, 2012, derailment of a freight train and subsequent chemical spill in Paulsboro, New Jersey. Plaintiffs are adults and minors who allege that they suffered physical injuries as a result of exposure to vinyl chloride that spilled from one or more railroad cars. Some plaintiffs also allege property damage.
Plaintiffs brought suit under theories of negligence, medical monitoring, nuisance and trespass, seeking both compensatory and punitive damages. It is only the counts for medical monitoring and trespass that are the subject of the instant motion to dismiss filed by Defendants Consolidated Rail Corporation, Norfolk Southern Railway Company, and CSX Transportation.
The Court finds that Plaintiffs have adequately pled the elements of a medical monitoring claim to survive dismissal at this stage of litigation. Plaintiffs will need to produce expert testimony on the significance of the exposure to vinyl chloride, the nature of the alleged increased risk of diseases, and the value of a monitoring program. However, Plaintiffs are not required to produce such evidence at the time of the filing of the complaint. Plaintiffs withdrew their claim alleging trespass, therefore that claim is also dismissed. [Filed November 4, 2013]