CSX hit by lawsuits for 2001 Baltimore tunnel disaster
The city of Baltimore sued CSX Corp. Friday, charging the railroad was responsible for the derailment of 11 chemical cars that caused a massive fire in a downtown tunnel in 2001, according to the Baltimore Sun and Associated Press.
The city is seeking to recover $10 million to pay for fighting the fire, repairing a broken water main that flooded the tunnel and other costs. CSX has reimbursed the city $375,000 so far. The water main also flooded many businesses and caused several streets to collapse.
A CSX official said the company would fight the lawsuit. The city blames the fire from the derailment for causing the water main to break; CSX blames the city for not maintaining the water main, which burst and caused the derailment. The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the accident, but the cause may never be determined because much of the evidence was consumed in the fire.
CSX is being sued by other parties who claim they were victimized by the accident. Last week, Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., the insurer for the Baltimore Orioles baseball franchise, filed a $1 million lawsuit for lost ticket and concessions sales after the derailment forced three home games to be cancelled. The suit charges CSX with negligence in the inspection and maintenance of the company’s track and the tunnel. The Maryland Institute College of Art sued CSX to recover more than $100,000 in damages stemming from the accident.