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Class-action Lawsuits Filed in Elk River Contamination Case

Many of the class-action lawsuits involving the Freedom Industries chemical spill will be funneled through West Virginia's Mass Litigation Panel, or MLP. The panel was set up to handle difficult cases with multiple defendants and plaintiffs.

The lawsuits involve the industrial accident that contaminated water in the Elk River, which serves around 300,000 West Virginia residents. Portions of nine different counties were without water for days in early January 2014, and even when officials said the water was suitable for all uses many people experienced chemical burns, exposure to fumes, and severe stomach reactions when exposed to the water.

The class-action suits being brought are especially complicated because of the wide variety of claims in each lawsuit. Attorneys say there are claims that range from medical monitoring and economic loss, to personal injury and water pollution, sometimes all in one claim.

So far, around 30 lawsuits have been filed and moved to federal court. Another group of lawsuits may be consolidated into a class-action suit, and then the Supreme Court Justice will examine the claims to see if they meet the criteria for the MLP.

Freedom Industries, the company blamed for the industrial accident, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just days after the chemical spill, listing $10 million in debt.

Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn can help you with all kinds of personal injury claims in West Virginia, from car, motorcycle, or trucking accidents, industrial accidents, medical malpractice and more. If you or a loved one has been injured and is seeking a qualified personal injury attorney, contact our Huntington, West Virginia office to speak with an attorney about your case, or call 304-523-84.

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