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Damage Lawsuit Filed Over Derailment

June 28, 1988

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ A group of property owners filed a damage lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of the thousands forced to evacuate their homes after a train derailment and phosphorus fire.

Named as defendants in the Christian County Circuit Court lawsuit were CSX Corp. and a subsidiary, CSX Transportation Inc.

The complaint alleges negligence on the part of both companies, said Tim Futrell, attorney for the nine plaintiffs, residents of the Crofton and Nortonville areas.

″We are talking in terms of hundreds of millons of dollars in damages,″ Futrell said. ″Under the rules of civil procedure, you are not permitted to specify a specific amount in the complaint.″

Futrell said he believed at least 15,000 people could be affected by the case, noting that the accident on June 22 drove about that many people from their homes in seven western Kentucky counties.

Lloyd Lewis, spokesman for CSX Transportation, said Tuesday he had no comment.

A CXS Transportation tanker carrying phosphorus was among 34 that left the tracks in a ravine near Crofton. The phosphorus spilled from the ruptured tanker and burned more than 12 hours after the crash.

There was no fatalities.

Futrell said one of the ″reasons we are filing so quickly is because CSX has dispatched representatives to the area to get people to sign releases for a pittance of what they are due.″

Futrell said some people complained about scratching and itching and difficulty in breathing, and he said there was damage to tobacco and hay crops ″and perhaps to the soil itself.″

″Virtually all of the plaintiffs were displaced for at least three days. They lost wages and will be seeking compensation for that.″

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