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Deadline to file West Virginia American Water crisis claims draws near


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The deadline to file a claim in the class-action lawsuit over the January 2014 water crisis is Wednesday.

The $151 million settlement of the lawsuit covers residents and businesses in the Kanawha Valley who received tap water from West Virginia American Water’s Elk River intake plant in Charleston after the chemical MCHM spilled from a Freedom Industries tank into the river, or whose employer closed because of the spill and subsequent water system contamination — an estimated 224,000 residents and 7,300 businesses.

 The lawsuit alleges West Virginia American didn’t prepare for or react properly to the spill, and that MCHM-maker Eastman Chemical didn’t warn Freedom Industries of the danger of its chemicals or react when Eastman officials found out the Freedom facility on the Elk River was in disrepair. Both companies blame Freedom Industries for the water crisis.

The settlement allows residential households to file a simple claim form and get $550 for the first resident and $180 for each additional resident. Residents can also file the Individual Review Form and provide receipts for actual expenses, like bottled water or lost food, to obtain a greater settlement. Women who were pregnant on Jan. 9, 2014, and exposed to the water can file an additional claim for $1,500. Businesses and hourly wage owners who lost income, government entities and anyone who went to the doctor or hospital are also eligible.

More information and forms are available at or at 1-855-829-8121. Residents or businesses don’t have to have signed up with a lawyer before the settlement to be included.

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