The Biden administration has sided with the company responsible for the Ohio train derailment in a lawsuit that could make it harder to sue corporations. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: The Biden administration has sided with the company responsible for the Ohio train derailment in a lawsuit that can make it harder to sue corporations. I don’t understand this. What the hell? What, I mean, what, why is Biden sending his, his Justice Department to argue on behalf of Norfolk Southern railroads? In a nutshell, what they’re trying to do, they’re trying to say right now, if somebody’s injured, they can bring a lawsuit in various jurisdictions. It’s called forum shopping. They say, I’m injured here. These courts are usually, the laws better for us. The statutes are better. We like the judge’s rulings. We’re gonna go here to bring the case. Norfolk wants to say, no, no, no, no. You can only bring this in Norfolk, Virginia. That’s, that’s their argument. And the Supreme Court has that question right now.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. And, and, and the, the Biden administration went to court. They didn’t have to.

Mike Papantonio: No.

Farron Cousins: And that’s what everybody has to understand. They voluntarily went to court and made the argument that yes, we, we support Norfolk Southern’s lawsuit here. We agree with them. The consumers, you know, should not be allowed to sue. Because if the company is based in Virginia, they gotta sue in their hometown.

Mike Papantonio: Right.

Farron Cousins: Where they’ve probably paid off every, you know.

Mike Papantonio: Of course.

Farron Cousins: Judicial.

Mike Papantonio: Of course.

Farron Cousins: Judicial campaign there. But.

Mike Papantonio: Well, I don’t know if they paid off judicial campaigns, but they pay off politicians.

Farron Cousins: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. They, I mean they, they spread all the money around.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: And we have seen, you know, a lot of these, some of the local elections, because not all judges are elected, but there’s plenty of them that have taken Norfolk Southern money. But what the issue is here is you got a man that had cancer. He was working with the train company, but he’s working down in Georgia.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: So he gets cancer and he says, okay, well I’m gonna sue where I get the cancer because that’s where I am. That makes the most sense.

Mike Papantonio: By the way, the law’s better there. The statutes are better.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: Anyway, go ahead.

Farron Cousins: And so Norfolk Southern says, no, no, no, no, because we are based in Virginia, you have to come to where we are, even though it’s our toxins that came all the way down to you.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: And, and this could be used across the board. This is not just a Norfolk Southern issue. This is something, I mean, think about all the cases you’ve done with this environmental toxin that, that has spread throughout our waterway. And imagine if you had to go to the home, you know of, of Dow.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: And, and try it right there in their backyard.

Mike Papantonio: Well.

Farron Cousins: It’s a lot more difficult.

Mike Papantonio: We’ve seen, we’ve seen this Biden administration, Department of Justice side up almost continuously with the US Chamber of Commerce, with associated industries, with big business every time the cons, it’s big business versus the consumer, Biden sends in his dogs, the Department of Justice to argue, well, let’s argue for big business. That’s what this is all about. Look, it’s just common sense. We know up in Virginia where they’d have to go that they’ve got limited liability. They’d make it very difficult for the consumer, for the injured victim. Limited damages, unfavorable case law, bad statutes. They have all of that. That’s why Norfolk Southern wants ’em in their backyard. It’s a dangerous, dangerous thing. And what if we have an absolute catastrophe like we’re seeing in Ohio, we don’t know where that’s going to go. And so now they’re gonna, oh, you’re gonna have to come to Norfolk, Virginia, or where, you’re gonna, it’s not just gonna be Norfolk, it’s not gonna just be Norfolk Southern is what I’m trying to say.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Well, and that’s, you know, with, with the derailment in Ohio, people have to understand too, with those chemicals, which there are known carcinogens, we may not know the damage for 10, 20 years in the future. So it, it’s gonna get worse.

Mike Papantonio: It’s, it’s bad stuff that they’re having to breathe up there and it’s moving in the groundwater.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: It goes from the, it goes from a plume into the ground, in, into the soil, into the aquifer, into the drinking water. That’s the cycle that it takes.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.