West Virginia Water Contamination Class Action Settlement
There are three specific subclasses:
Residential: If you lived in a house, condo, or apartment that received tap water from West Virginia American’s Kanawha Valley Water Treatment Plant on January 9, 2014 your Household is eligible to make a claim for a Residential Household payment. Renters are eligible too even if you didn’t pay your own water bill.
Business Businesses and non-profits entities that were being served tap water by West Virginia American’s Kanawha Valley Water Treatment Plant on January 9, 2014 are eligible to make a claim for a Business payment using one of the two types of Claim Forms.
Wage Earner: If you were employed by a business that was Shut Down or Partially Shut Down due to the Freedom Chemical Spill and you were paid on an hourly basis, then you are eligible to make a claim for lost hourly wages during the shut down using the Wage Earner Individual Review Claim Form. To be eligible for a payment, you must provide certain documents that show your wage loss.
The parties have estimated the likely amount that certain class members will receive if they choose to ask for a Simple Claim payment at $550 for the household customer claim and $180 for each additional resident. However, the exact amount that any Class Member can receive through the Settlement depends on the specific nature of the claim that is made and on the total amount of the claims received by the Settlement Administrator. Pregnant class members will receive additional compensation, so will class members that submit evidence of injury inclusive of death. As for business it is expected that settlements will range from $40,000 to $64,000 for hotels
Proof of Purchase
Crystal Good v. West Virginia-American Water Company,Case No. 2:14-cv-01374, District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
On January 9, 2014, a chemical leak into the Elk River at the Freedom Industries tank farm near Charleston caused over two hundred thousand residential and business water users served by West Virginia American Water American Water to be without tap water other than for toilet flushing and fire protection (the “Incident”). Freedom Industries purchased the chemical, Crude MCHM, from Eastman. The class action lawsuit claims that American Water and Eastman could have prevented or avoided the event with better precautionary measures, compliance with applicable regulations and the use of reasonable care.
Portions of nine counties (Boone, Cabell (Salt Rock/Culloden area), Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam and Roane) in West Virginia—where more than 224,000 residents and 7,300 businesses were located—were affected by the water contamination.
American Water and Eastman strongly dispute the claims in the class action lawsuit and deny any fault or liability for the chemical leak or contamination of the drinking water.