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CLASS ACTION SUIT FILED IN WISCONSIN TRAIN DERAILMENT

 CLASS ACTION SUIT FILED IN WISCONSIN TRAIN DERAILMENT
 SUPERIOR, Wis., July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- A class action lawsuit was


filed today against Burlington Northern Railroad Company on behalf of more than 50,000 residents of Wisconsin and Minnesota who were forced to evacuate their homes and businesses following a train derailment that occurred in Superior, Wis., on June 30.
 The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, was filed in the Wisconsin Circuit Court in Superior, by the Miami law firm of Robles & Gonzalez, P.A., and the Superior law firm of Marcovich, Cochrane and Milliken.
 During the derailment, a mixture of hazardous chemicals, including benzene and toulene, was dumped into the Nemadji River, which feeds directly into Superior Bay and Lake Superior, and a cloud of toxic vapor spread across eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. An evacuation order was issued from Superior, Wis. to Duluth, Minn.
 According to attorney Louis S. Robles, who represents the plaintiff, Burlington Northern was negligent in the accident.
 "The National Transportation Safety Board issued a safety study last year warning that many types of freight cars may not be suitable for transporting hazardous materials," said Robles.
 The freight car that continued the benzene was not strong enough to withstand an accident like this, and as a result the lives of thousands of people were placed in immediate danger," he said. "Burlington was aware of the board's position and recommendations, but did not take the steps necessary to ensure the public's safety."
 The incident began during the early morning hours of June 30, at 2:30 a.m., when 14 cars derailed off an 80-foot bridge over the Nemadji River. Within hours, an evacuation order was issued after workers' efforts to control leaks had failed. According to news reports, at least 25 people were taken to hospitals in the two states.
 According to Robles, more than 30,000 gallons of benzene and other petroleum additives leaked into the river, in a spot approximately 7 miles southwest of Superior Bay, and a toxic vapor cloud spread throughout an area of more than 1,200 square miles.
 "Because of the logistics involved in evacuating so many people in such a short timeframe, thousands of people were exposed to toxic gases before they could get out the area," Robles said.
 Burlington Northern is headquartered in Seattle. Also named in the lawsuit were Nova Corporation of Alberta, Ltd.; Novacor Chemicals, USA, Inc.; and GLNX Corporation.
 -0- 7/16/92
 /CONTACT: Jim Murphy of Bruce Rubin Associates, 305-448-7450, for Robles & Gonzalez, P.A./ CO: Robles & Gonzalez; Burlington Northern Railway ST: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Florida IN: TRN SU:


AW-JB -- FL017 -- 9915 07/16/92 15:48 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 16, 1992
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