Norfolk Southern Hit With Graniteville Accident Cost

Norfolk Southern Hit With Graniteville Accident Cost

Norfolk Southern Railway will record expenses of at least $58 million linked to its deadly 2005 Graniteville, S.C., train derailment, after the carrier received an unfavorable insurance claim ruling.

At Graniteville, chlorine gas leaked from a car ruptured in the accident releasing a poisonous cloud. Nine people died, hundreds were injured and a contaminated textile mill closed permanently after the event.

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NS said the ruling against it came March 18 from an arbitration panel. So it will book expenses in this year’s first quarter of $43 million for receivables from the contested portion of the claim, plus about $15 million for other receivables that may be affected “as it is not probable that these amounts will be recovered.”

The company also expects to cover some legal costs for the insurance provider linked to the arbitration proceeding but said it does not yet know how much that will be.

-- Contact John D. Boyd at jboyd@joc.com.