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Derailment Evacuees Sue Railroad Co.

June 8, 2002

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CHARLOTTE, Mich. (AP) _ Ten people forced out of their homes last month by the derailment of a train carrying explosive liquid propane and toxic sulfuric acid are suing Canadian National Railway Corp.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Eaton County Circuit Court, accuses the railroad of negligence in the Memorial Day derailment in Potterville, about 12 miles southwest of Lansing.

The 2,200-resident town was evacuated for about four days. The cause of the derailment has not been determined.

Also named in the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages and class-action status, are Grand Trunk Western Railroad, a division of Canadian National, a track engineer and an engineering superintendent.

Canadian National spokesman Jack Burke declined comment on the lawsuit. He said the company has been reimbursing residents for their out-of-pocket expenses during the evacuation, including hotel stays and lost wages. Those who accept the reimbursements waive their right to sue. He said about 200 checks had been given out.

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