$151 Million Freedom Chemical Spill Settlement Wins Preliminary Approval


A federal judge granted preliminary approval to a complex settlement agreement in a case consolidating multiple lawsuits arising from the January 2014 Elk River chemical spill in West Virginia that shut down the water supply to 300,000 residents for weeks.

U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver Jr. gave preliminary approval to the 238-page settlement, which would compensate residents, employees and business owners for the disruption caused by the shut-down of water treatment plant in Charleston, West Virginia, caused by a chemical spill into the Elk River.

If approved, the settlement will be funded by $126 million in payments by West Virginia American Water Company and its parent companies and $25 million by the Eastman Chemical Company, which sold the methylcyclohexane methanol, or crude MCHM, to Freedom Industries.

Freedom owned and operated the storage tank that leaked, but filed for bankruptcy not long after the spill.

Ben Bailey of Bailey Glasser Anthony Majestro of Powell & Majestro PLLC, and Marvin Masters of The Masters Law Firm L.C. were appointed as Settlement Class Counsel.

Stuart Calwell of The Calwell Practice, LC, Van Bunch of Bonnett, Fairbourn, Friedman & Balint P.C. and Kevin Thompson of Thompson Barney, PLLC were appointed as Lead Settlement Class Counsel.

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