Prominent South Carolina Firms File Suit in Graniteville, SC Train Disaster

Suit Seeks Relief for Persons with Property Damage from Chlorine Spill

Jan 21, 2005, 00:00 ET from Motley Rice LLC

    BARNWELL and CHARLESTON, S.C., Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Motley Rice LLC and
 W. Mullins McLeod, Jr., today announced that they have filed a lawsuit seeking
 relief for persons with property damage resulting from the Graniteville train
 disaster.  Named as defendants are railroad Norfolk Southern, the Union Tank
 Car Company which manufactured the tank cars carrying the chlorine in the
 deadly Graniteville train crash; the Olin Corporation which manufactured and
 shipped the deadly chlorine; and the Norfolk Southern employees, who allegedly
 failed to set the switch after they left their train on an active track.
 Motley Rice LLC has also been retained to handle a number of the personal
 injury and death cases as they relate to this catastrophe and those claims are
 being handled in separate lawsuits.
     "We believe this lawsuit will encourage the defendants to accept
 responsibility, and provide the property clean-up, replacement or payment as
 they are obligated to do under the law," explained founding member of Motley
 Rice, Ron Motley.
     According to Motley Rice founding member, Joe Rice, "Our community
 welcomed and trusted the railroad, but now our community is damaged and our
 citizens need immediate help in the clean-up and replacement of their
 property.  This lawsuit seeks to help South Carolinians with property in South
 Carolina.  We are hopeful that the named defendants will come forward quickly
 and help these innocent victims as they attempt to return to their homes."
     According to W. Mullins McLeod, Jr., this is precisely why the plaintiffs
 in the case are limited to state residents with property in the evacuation
 zone.  "The railroad, the tank car company, and the manufacturer and shipper
 of the chlorine all have the obligation to ensure that in working in, and
 passing through, our community and state they do not harm our property,"
 stated McLeod.
     The class action lawsuit seeks an immediate clean-up program for all
 afflicted persons with damage to their real or personal property.  Buildings
 will need to be cleaned, painted, re-wired and inspected.  Personal property
 will need to be cleaned, repaired or replaced.  Destroyed goods such as food,
 clothing, electrical and electronic equipment and furniture will need to be
 replaced.  "This community needs help now," said Rice.
     "Railroads are entrusted with vast access and right-of-way in our
 communities and our nation, but they have such rights only insofar as they
 comply with the regulations governing safe operations of both rail and
 hazardous materials transport," said Motley Rice member Mary Schiavo, former
 Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington,
 D.C., which has oversight authority over the railroads.  "Norfolk Southern and
 others failed to comply with those laws, regulations, and standards, and
 failed to put in place known and recommended practices which absolutely would
 have prevented this deadly crash."
     About Motley Rice LLC
     Motley Rice LLC is one of the nation's largest plaintiffs' litigation and
 transportation disaster firms.  Motley Rice attorneys have gained global
 recognition for their pioneering work on behalf of asbestos victims, the State
 Attorneys General in their landmark litigation against Big Tobacco, and the
 9/11 families in their groundbreaking lawsuit against terrorist financiers.
 Motley Rice attorneys continue to seek justice in the areas of:  catastrophic
 injury; complex case resolution; consumer and commercial fraud; environmental
 hazards and contamination; medical negligence and defects; occupational
 disease and toxic torts; and transportation defects and mass disasters.  For
 more information on Motley Rice LLC call 1-800-768-4026 or
 visit .
     About W. Mullins McLeod, Jr.
     W. Mullins McLeod, Jr. is a founding member of Pierce, Herns, Sloan &
 McLeod. The Firm has litigated complex product liability cases in most states
 on the East Coast.  Following law school, he served as law clerk for the then
 Circuit Court Judge and now Associate Justice to the South Carolina Supreme
 Court, Costa M. Pleicones.  His areas of practice include product liability,
 general negligence and toxic torts with an emphasis on railroad cases. He has
 successfully represented numerous victims of grade crossing cases and injured
 railroad men under the Federal Employers Liability Act.  McLeod is currently
 serving his second term as Chairman of the Charleston County Democratic Party.

SOURCE Motley Rice LLC