As reported by Law360on Wednesday, April 5, 2023, U.S. District Judge Benita Y. Pearson of the Northern District of Ohio issued an order consolidating 31 separate lawsuits relating to the February 3, 2023 Norfolk Southern train derailment and toxic spill in East Palestine, Ohio.

The derailment and ensuing massive fire and toxic spill included at least 14 train cars filled with known carcinogen vinyl chloride and others containing equally hazardous materials, whose contents were released and set afire. Many residents in East Palestine were forced to evacuate, while others were advised to shelter in place while the toxic plume invaded their properties and businesses. Local residents reported considerable frustration, and fear, as the environmental impact of the derailment continues to come into view and more and more questions about long-term effects and dangers multiply.

From two competing plaintiff counsel proposals, Lieff Cabraser was one of several firms chosen to manage all activities on the plaintiffs’ side in the Norfolk Southern multidistrict consolidated litigation, with Nashville office managing partner Mark P. Chalos selected to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee. “I am honored be be appointed to serve among such a stellar group of plaintiff attorneys,” noted Chalos. “We are all eager to move the case forward on behalf of the communities harmed as a result of this major environmental disaster.”

About Mark P. Chalos

The Managing Partner of Lieff Cabraser’s Nashville office, Mark P. Chalos (twitter: @mpchalos) represents individuals who have suffered catastrophic personal injuries and families whose loved ones died due to the negligence or misconduct of others. In the national opioids litigation, Mark represents counties and cities across the U.S., as well as Native American Tribes and health benefit plans. Most recently, Mark served as trial counsel in the national bellwether trial on behalf of the City and County of San Francisco, which resulted in a successful verdict for plaintiffs.

Mark has tried cases to juries and judges around the country. He serves in the leadership of numerous class actions and multidistrict litigations. He is president of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University Law School, a frequent speaker at legal seminars nationwide on a variety of civil litigation topics, and is regularly cited by top-tier media outlets.


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