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LISBON – Members of the Village Council recently heard a presentation by attorney Mark Dunn of Dan Law and Tim Fox of Morgan & Morgan Law Firm about joining a class-action lawsuit over the East Palestine train derailment.

No decision has been made as to whether the village will jump ship, but village solicitor Alec Beach will review the proposed agreement and report back to the council.

Mayor Peter Wilson raised the issue during a previous council meeting, talking about the City of Salem’s plans to join the lawsuit and issues to consider, such as creating a medical trust fund that could be used by first responders who might develop illnesses in the future from exposure to hazardous chemicals at the scene. the incident. The village had eight firefighters who responded on the scene the night of the February 3 derailment.

Governments have a unique set of claims, Dunn, who previously served as a state senator and Ohio attorney general, advised, noting that firefighters who develop cancer later in life can file a workers’ compensation claim against the village, in addition to workers’ compensation annually that can Premiums increase. Establishing a medical trust will be something they can do as part of the lawsuit.

He also praised Morgan & Morgan, a law firm with deep pockets, experts and a staff of 850 attorneys, including Mike Morgan who has been proposed as part of the leadership committee for the case in federal court. Dan works with Morgan & Morgan.

Fox, who previously served as Montana’s attorney general, said his background includes a lot of environmental work and their team wants to focus on representing government entities related to derailment. He admitted that the village had already sent a bill to

Norfolk Southern, which Fire Chief Mark Hall reports has already been compensated.

“The most important issue here is the human factor. There are a lot of unknowns in terms of long-term health,” she said. Fox said.

It’s important to do basic testing, establish long-term medical monitoring and a trust fund, consider the need for additional water testing, and consider the additional burden on workers’ compensation and premium increases, he said.

The law firm will charge a contingency fee of 25 percent of any settlement.

“There are not many dangers here.” Dan said.

Questions posed by board members ranged from how the trust works to how firefighters can prove that a cancer diagnosis resulted from a derailment.

In other business, the Board approved a resolution to participate in the Ohio Department of Transportation road salt contract for up to 75 tons of salt; accepted a grant of 12 bullet-proof vests to the police department at a cost of $14,218, with the village paying 25 percent of the cost, or $3,554; agreed to pay Boak & Sons $29,030 to repair the fire station roof; He was notified about the Johnny Appleseed Festival using the streets downtown on September 16th and 17th.

The council approved the first reading of an ordinance to update litter removal rules, which village attorney Alec Beach said was needed to strengthen language after problems in court over how the ordinance was written.

Plans are also in place for Beech to revise the necessity of the rules around bed and breakfast facilities or Airbnbs.

Chris McLaughlin of McLaughlin’s Martial Arts on Park Avenue thanked the community and businesses in the area for their support of a recent martial arts tournament hosted by the high school dojo in February, with 197 competitors from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New York, West Virginia and Kentucky. He is also planning a tournament next year and said that this year the dojo is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Wilson thanked the village’s first responders for handling calls during recent wind storms and power outages, and said he’s asking department heads to update their emergency plans.

The next village council meeting will be at 6:30 pm April 11th in the village hall.

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