Norfolk Southern Railway Company engages in the transportation of freight by rail. Its lines carry raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods in the southeast, east, and midwest to and from the rest of the United States and parts of Canada. It also transports overseas freight through several Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports. Norfolk Southern Railway Company was formerly known as Southern Railway Company and changed its name to Norfolk Southern Railway Company in December 1990. The company was incorporated in 1894 and is based in Norfolk, Virginia. Norfolk Southern Railway Company operates as a subsidiary of Norfolk Southern Corporation.
3 Commercial Place
Norfolk, VA 23510
Founded in 1894
Consolidated Rail Corp., Norfolk Southern Railway Co. and Csx Transportation Inc. Announces Law Suit
May 15 14
The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey declined to strike class allegations from a complaint filed by individuals and businesses that allegedly sustained economic losses when a train derailed and spilled toxic chemicals. It was not evident that the plaintiffs could not meet the requirements for maintaining a class action. On November 30, 2012, a train owned and operated by Consolidated Rail Corp., Norfolk Southern Railway Co. and CSX Transportation Inc. (collectively, the rail companies) derailed in Paulsboro, N.J. Four tank cars fell into Mantua Creek. Approximately 25,000 gallons of vinyl chloride was released into the water and the atmosphere. Several plaintiffs sued the rail companies on behalf of themselves and a class of individuals and businesses who incurred expenses and lost income as a result of evacuating or sheltering indoors. The complaint alleged the rail companies negligently and recklessly operated the freight train. The rail companies moved to strike the plaintiffs' class allegations. They argued the putative class was unascertainable and joinder was practicable. Inappropriateness of class treatment is not facially apparent. The district court found it was not clear that the plaintiffs would be unable to show that class members were ascertainable. The parameters of the city's evacuation and "shelter in place" zones that impacted putative class members could be defined through discovery. The persons residing or doing business within those parameters could be ascertained using public records. As the rail companies contended, those who evacuated or sheltered in place would have to prove they incurred economic losses. The possibility that some fact-finding might be necessary did not automatically preclude certification. The rail companies argued that the close geographic proximity of class members meant that joinder was practicable. The district court noted the cases the rail companies cited did not foreclose certification in a case involving a chemical spill that affects a limited area. Joinder is impracticable where the individual stakes in the litigation are so small that it is unlikely the plaintiffs will pursue individual lawsuits. The district court observed it was likely that a great number of class members sustained damages that were insufficient to merit the filing of separate lawsuits. The plaintiffs were entitled to conduct discovery on that issue. The motion to strike was premature. The district court concluded the viability of the plaintiffs' proposed class depended on factual matters that had to be developed through discovery.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration Issues Finding of Injured Worker Unlawfully Fired by Norfolk Southern Railway Company
Mar 6 13
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on March 1 issued another significant finding against the Norfolk Southern Railway Company for violating the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA). This was the third of three separate findings against NS issued on February 27, and the latest in a series of cases in which OSHA, after a full investigation, concluded that NS fired Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way employees Division (BMWED) members merely for seeking medical attention for on-the-job injuries. This was the third of three separate findings against NS issued on February 27, and the latest in a series of cases in which OSHA, after a full investigation, concluded that NS fired Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way employees Division (BMWED) members merely for seeking medical attention for on-the-job injuries. Section 20109 of the FRSA provides railroad workers with rights and remedies against unlawful railroad company retaliation for reporting injuries, seeking medical attention, and raising safety and security concerns. In this case, the Company said a BMWED member with a fine work record was fired by NS after getting a small piece of metal in his eye on the job and seeking medical attention to have it removed. The employee was charged by NS for making false and conflicting statements because he was unable to identify exactly when and how the metal entered his eye. Following his dismissal the employee, with the assistance of BMWED, filed a complaint with OSHA alleging retaliation for reporting the injury and seeking medical attention. In issuing its findings OSHA ordered the NS to reinstate the employee with all rights, seniority, and benefits; pay the claimant lost wages and benefits in the amount of $156,518.94 plus interest; compensatory damages in the amount of $6,072.76 plus interest; $100,000.00 for humiliation and mental and emotional pain; punitive damages of $150,000.00; and reasonable attorney fees. OSHA also ordered NS to expunge the employee's record and restore Railroad Retirement Board credits lost since being unlawfully fired.