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Firm obtains $18.5 million settlement in derailment fire for two Belleville men


Robert A. Clifford and Colin H. Dunn, partners at Clifford Law Offices, in Chicago, on Monday obtained an $18.5 million settlement on behalf of two Southern Illinois workers who were severely injured in a flash fire during a derailment cleanup in Kentucky.

The case was dismissed Monday in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County in Louisville, Ky.

Belleville residents Tony Carillo, 38, and Greg Powers, 28, both employees of RJ Corman Derailment Services of Nicholasville, Ky., were badly injured in a Level 3 haz-mat derailment cleanup near West Point, Ky., in October 2012.

Powers suffered second- and third-degree burns over 70 percent of his body as well as inhalation injuries to his throat and lungs. His month-long hospital stay required multiple debridement and skin grafting procedures. He has developed bilateral carpel tunnel syndrome in both arms requiring surgery and endured extensive and painful physical therapy since the incident.

Carillo suffered first- and third-degree burns over 40 percent of his body including on both arms, his torso and back. He was airliftedted to the University of Louisville Hospital where he underwent multiple debridements and skin grafts.

“This incident was completely avoidable had the companies involved taken reasonable precautions,” Clifford said following the settlement. “These men and their families are changed forever. Burns are very serious injuries – both painful and disfiguring.”

Clifford Law Offices brought claims against CSX Transportation, Inc.; Paducah & Louisville Railway Co.; and the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, all of whom contributed to the settlement. Tad Thomas of Thomas Law Offices in Louisville and Brad Badgley of Brad L. Badgley P.C. in Belleville also represented the two injured workers.

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