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Court Allows Suit over Deadly Railroad Derailment

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Supreme Court says it won't block a lawsuit against a railroad involved in a deadly derailment in North Dakota.

The justices declined Monday to get involved in a dispute between the Canadian Pacific Railway and residents of Minot, N. Dak. The Minot residents want to sue the railroad over a 2002 derailment that sent a cloud of toxic anhydrous ammonia farm fertilizer over the city. One man died trying to escape the fumes and others were treated at hospitals for eye and lung problems.

In 2006, a U.S. district judge ruled that federal law protected Canadian Pacific from claims stemming from the derailment. After Congress changed the law the same year, the St. Louis-based 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the claims could be pursued.

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