BENSALEM, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Law Offices of Howard G. Smith announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of investors who purchased Norfolk Southern Corporation (“Norfolk Southern” or the “Company”) (NYSE: NSC) common stock between October 28, 2020 and March 3, 2023, inclusive (the “Class Period”). Norfolk Southern investors have until May 15, 2023 to file a lead plaintiff motion.
Investors suffering losses on their Norfolk Southern investments are encouraged to contact the Law Offices of Howard G. Smith to discuss their legal rights in this class action at 888-638-4847 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On February 3, 2023, after the market closed, a Norfolk Southern Railway Company (“NSR”) 149-car general merchandise freight train operated by three Norfolk Southern personnel derailed after a wheel bearing overheated and failed in East Palestine, Ohio, leaving behind a “mangled and charred mass of boxcars and flames.” The train was not classified as a hazardous material train, but was carrying several hazardous materials that subsequently ignited, causing damage to non-derailed railcars. On February 5, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine ordered the evacuation of those within a one-by-two mile area near the derailment due to 115,580 gallons of vinyl chloride in five of the derailed cars. The following day, on February 6, responders engaged in a controlled detonation and burn of the vinyl chloride, exposing surrounding areas to massive volumes of chemicals, including residential neighborhoods only 1,000 feet from the accident. Reports cited thousands of dead fish, chemical slicks in the water, and chemical odors around the site.
On this news, Norfolk Southern’s stock price fell $5.66, or 2.2%, to close at $246.46 per share on February 6, 2023.
Then, on February 8, 2023, Governor DeWine stated that Norfolk Southern “created the problem” and that it was “their liability,” asserting that the Company “ought to pay for it.” Upon returning to their homes after evacuation orders were lifted, many residents reported hazardous air quality and other health and environmental concerns.
On this news, Norfolk Southern’s stock price fell $7.64, or 3.1%, to close at $238.98 per share on February 9, 2023.
On February 13, 2023, the EPA concluded that Norfolk Southern may be responsible for the cleanup costs of the derailment site or the costs incurred by the EPA area cleanups. On this news, Norfolk Southern’s stock price fell $7.33, or 3%, over the next two trading days, to close at $235.28 per share on February 14, 2023.
Then, on February 23, 2023, the National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) issued a preliminary report on the derailment, stating it was 100% preventable. And on March 7, 2023, the NTSB announced that it had opened a special investigation into safety practices at Norfolk Southern because the Company had suffered five significant accidents since December 2021, three of which resulted in Company employee deaths.
On March 14, 2023, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a complaint against Norfolk Southern alleging trespass, nuisance, negligence, open dumping, and water and discharge violations in connection with a series of Norfolk Southern train derailments.
On March 15, 2023, Norfolk Southern’s stock price fell to a low of less than $203 per share – 19% below the price prior to the East Palestine train derailment, thereby injuring investors.
The complaint filed in this class action alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants failed to disclose to investors that: (1) Norfolk Southern’s Precision Scheduled Railroading (“PSR”), including its use of longer, heavier trains staffed by fewer personnel, had led to Norfolk Southern suffering increased train derailments and a materially increased risk of future derailments; (2) Norfolk Southern’s PSR was part of a culture of increased risk-taking at the expense of reasonable safety precautions due to Norfolk Southern’s near-term focus solely on profits; (3) Norfolk Southern’s PSR rendered Norfolk Southern more vulnerable to train derailments and train derailments with potentially more severe human, financial, legal, and environmental consequences; (4) Norfolk Southern’s capital spending and replacement programs were designed to prioritize profits over Norfolk Southern’s ability to provide safe, efficient, and reliable rail transportation services; (5) Norfolk Southern’s lobbying efforts had undermined Norfolk Southern’s ability to provide safe, efficient, and reliable rail transportation services; (6) Norfolk Southern’s commitment to reducing operating expenses as part of its PSR goals undermined worker safety and Norfolk Southern’s purported commitment to an injury-free workplace because Norfolk Southern’s PSR plan prioritized reducing expenses through fewer personnel, longer trains, and less spending on safety training, technology, and equipment such as hot bearing wayside detectors (a/k/a hotboxes) and acoustic sensors; (7) Norfolk Southern’s rail services were, as a result of its adoption of PSR principles, more susceptible to accidents that could cause serious economic and bodily harm to Norfolk Southern, its workers, its customers, third parties, and the environment; (8) Norfolk Southern had failed to put in place responsive practices and procedures to minimize the threat to communities in the event that these communities suffered the derailment of a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous and toxic materials; and (9) as a result, Defendants’ positive statements about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects were materially misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis at all relevant times.
If you purchased Norfolk Southern common stock, have information or would like to learn more about these claims, or have any questions concerning this announcement or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please contact Howard G. Smith, Esquire, of Law Offices of Howard G. Smith, 3070 Bristol Pike, Suite 112, Bensalem, Pennsylvania 19020, by telephone at (215) 638-4847, toll-free at (888) 638-4847, or by email to email@example.com, or visit our website at www.howardsmithlaw.com.
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