Thousands of Families Sue City of Houston and Railroad Company After Several Cancer Deaths They Believe Were Caused by Toxic Chemicals from Nearby Railyard

A woman is suing the city of Houston and Union Pacific railroad after her nephew, Corinthian Giles (above) died this summer from cancer she claims was due to chemical contamination from a rail yard near their Fifth Ward home. (Photo: screenshot/KHOU)

Latonya Payne, the legal guardian of her nephew Corinthian Giles, has sued the city of Houston, Texas, and Union Pacific Railroad after her nephew died from leukemia, which she believes was caused by toxic chemicals in the neighborhood.

Payne is one of thousands of individuals in Houston who have brought forward lawsuits that claim the railroad company is responsible for the ill effects they’ve suffered from their properties and groundwater being contaminated with toxic chemicals that came from the nearby rail yard for decades.

The lawsuit was filed last week in Harris County District Court and claims that Union Pacific attempted to cover up how serious the contamination was and furthermore, failed to clean it up. The suit also claims that the city of Houston failed to warn the residents of the potential dangers or reduce the risk of poisoning which several reports claimed caused cancer.

Following a five-year battle with his illness, Giles died July at 13. The young boy grew up two blocks away from Union Pacific’s Englewood Railyard and former creosote treatment plant in Houston’s Greater Fifth Ward area, where reportedly 100 properties were affected.

The creosote was used to treat railroad ties at the yard, which operated from 1895 to 1984 and become Union Pacific’s property in 1996 when the company bought the Southern Pacific Railroad.

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SOURCE: The Atlanta Black Star,