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Paulsboro Derailment Settlement Would Limit Child Lawsuits

A railroad is offering parents in Paulsboro a settlement stemming from a derailment that would prevent their children from suing if they get sick in the future.

Aerial shot of Paulsboro train derailment
Aerial shot of Paulsboro train derailment (US Coast Guard)

WPVI TV reports Conrail is offering Paulsboro residents $500 per child.

Lawyer Alan Sklarsky, who represents some residents, says the amount would not cover future medical bills if the children get sick. He is advising his clients not to sign the agreement because it’s not known what the risks are of being exposed to the vinyl chloride released into the air when a half-dozen rail cars derailed on a bridge in November.

The chemical is linked to short term breathing problems, but prolonged exposure has been tied to cancer.

One parent told WPVI TV he drove his kids through the area of the derailment just after it happened and his family was not evacuated for several days. “You figure for four days we were probably exposed to it,” Jefferson told WPVI TV. “I think they are just preying on the poor, that’s all that is.”

The station says they have a list showing 54 children whose parents sighed off on the settlement.

Conrail has said that it is settling claims “fairly and promptly.”

A judge has not yet ruled on the settlements.

FULL COVERAGE: Paulsboro Derailment

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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