Mani, Ellis & Layne First to File Complaint in Wake of West Virginia Chemical Spill, Federal Disaster
On Thursday January, 9, 2014, a chemical leak emanated from a tank at the Freedom Industries plant in Charleston, West Virginia. The spill, which later contaminated the nearby Elk River and a water treatment plant involved the chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, a chemical used in the coal preparation process. Shortly after the spill, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency.
As part of this declaration, a Do Not Use Water notice was issued, continuing into Friday morning. The ban orders all West Virginians in the affected areas, as well as Customers of West Virginia American Water Company in nine counties, to not drink, bathe, wash their hands, or use the water in any other way other than to flush the toilet. The health department also ordered every restaurant and certain businesses that use tap water to close.
The affected counties are as follows:
President Declares Federal State of Emergency
In response to the chemical spill, President Obama declared a Federal State of Emergency for West Virginia early Friday morning. By declaring the spill a Federal Disaster, West Virginia will receive direct federal aid to assist local and state emergency response efforts. Disaster relief efforts will be coordinated by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The state of emergency and water ban is ongoing as part of a precautionary measure.
Mani, Ellis & Layne First to File Complaint
Early Friday morning, our firm filed the first civil complaint against Freedom Industries, Inc. The complaint - which can be viewed here - was filed in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County on behalf of EJ&K Enterprises (which owns and operates the Bear's Den in Charleston) and South Hills Market and Café in Charleston, as well as on behalf of other similarly situated residents and businesses.
The West Virginia only class action was filed to recover lost business profits and other damages as a result of the chemical spill caused by Freedom Industries and subsequent government close order. As the first firm to file a complaint against Freedom Industries, we have demonstrated our unwavering commitment to local residents and our mission to act as first responders to victims in need.
Fighting to Protect the Rights of West Virginians
At Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, our West Virginia personal injury lawyers are committed to protecting the rights and well-beings of our clients and other West Virginian residents and businesses affected by the negligence of Freedom Industries. The spill has affected hundreds of thousands of West Virginias and thousands of businesses, many of which are small businesses that cannot withstand being shut down. Our firm is available to provide support and legal representation to all affected businesses affected by this tragedy.
If you would like more information about the Freedom Industries chemical leak and how our firm may be of assistance, fill out a free case evaluation form or call (800) 900-0673 for a consultation. Our firm is located in Charleston and represents clients throughout West Virginia.