CSX Transportation wants a lawsuit tossed out that was filed as a result of the April train derailment that knocked out a Moncks Corner bridge.
The request by the company to dismiss the case was filed in federal court, where the case was transferred last week.
The April derailment knocked out a bridge on Cypress Gardens Road, creating a 22-mile detour and blocking traffic to thousands of drivers, some of which are part of the suit.
About 300 people have joined the suit against CSX alleging the company was negligent in causing the derailment and are seeking damages due to the road detour.
Christopher Biering, the attorney representing the plaintiffs declined comment at this time. A CSX representative said the company won't comment on pending litigation.
The suit was originally filed in Berkeley County on May 15 but was transferred to U.S. District Court on June 2, according to court records.
CSX attorneys claim federal court has jurisdiction because there are more than 100 plaintiffs and because the amount of money at stake could exceed $5 million, according to federal court filings.
That calculation is based on the potential claims of the 6,200 people who drive over the Cypress Gardens Road bridge, the filing stated.
The complaint does not specify how much the suit is seeking, but plaintiffs are asking for compensatory damages for reasons including transportation, costs for services, annoyance and inconvenience, according to court records.
CSX also is asking the court to dismiss the complaint claiming the plaintiffs have failed to provide any evidence to support negligence, according to court filings.
In a recently filed memo, CSX attorneys stated the company quickly began working on repairs following the April 28 incident and have agreed to pay the full cost of repairing the bridge. CSX attorneys also pointed out that none of the plaintiffs have been physically injured as a result of the derailment.
"Plaintiffs then brought this lawsuit seeking to transform this episode into a litigation event," based on temporary inconvenience, the memo stated.
CSX also argued that the plaintiffs are seeking relief not only for themselves but also for an "oddly defined" class of individuals who allegedly suffered indirect economic loss due to the bridge closure, the memo stated.
The suit, however, alleges, thousands of people have been forced to detour their travel for work, school, business and recreation, costing them time and money in travel, according to the original complaint filed in state court.
The S.C. Department of Transportation announced last week that work was set to begin Sunday to replace the bridge after the agency awarded a $3.05 million emergency contract to Cape Romain Contractors Inc.
The contract requires that work on the new bridge be finished by Oct. 25.
Monday, a crane and bulldozer was taken to the site and construction signs are expected to be posted this week, according to DOT Construction Engineer, Tim Henderson.
The crews are awaiting some permits, but hope to begin the demolition of the bridge next week, Henderson said.
Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.
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