On January 9, 2014 a chemical spill from Freedom Industries into the Elk River caused the contamination and disruption of the public water supply for up to 8 days in parts of nine counties in the Charleston area. As part of the proposed class action settlement of lawsuits filed after the Freedom Chemical Spill, eligible residents, businesses, government entities and hourly workers can receive payments by filing claims.
This website lets those affected by the Spill file claims and find answers to their questions about how the lawsuit and the class action settlement affect them.
You are a Class Member only if your residence, business, government, church or non-profit was located at an address served by West Virginia American Water’s Kanawha Valley Water Treatment Plant (KVTP) on January 9, 2014.
Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr. of the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia is overseeing this class action case. In a class action, one or more people or companies (who are called “class representatives”) sue on behalf of themselves and other people with similar claims. This case is known as Good v. American Water Works Company, Inc., No. 2:14-cv-01374. The people who sued are called the “Plaintiffs.” West Virginia-American Water Company, American Water Works Service Company, Inc. and American Water Works Company, Inc. (together called “American Water”), and Eastman Chemical Company (“Eastman”) are the “Defendants.”
On September 21, 2017, Judge Copenhaver preliminarily approved a class action settlement that would resolve the class action lawsuit. When a class action is settled, one court resolves the issues for all class members, except for those who decide to exclude themselves from the settlement. The Settlement provides for up to approximately $151 million to pay eligible settlement class members, attorneys’ fees and expenses for attorneys working on behalf of the class, and the cost of notice and compensation for a settlement administrator who will manage the process of reviewing and deciding claims.
Class members eligible for this Settlement include the following residential households, businesses and workers (hourly wage earners):
Residential Households: any resident of a residence provided tap water service from West Virginia American’s Kanawha Valley Water Treatment Plant (“KVTP”) on January 9, 2014.
Businesses: A business that operated at a property location provided tap water service from West Virginia American’s KVTP on January 9, 2014. This includes for-profit businesses, non-profit organizations and governmental entities.
Wage Earners: A person employed on January 9, 2014 at a Business that was Shut Down or Partially Shut Down as a result of the spill and contamination and who has documented lost hourly wages.
There are six different types of claim payments. The Settlement Funds will be distributed according to the Amended Settlement Agreement and the Settlement Fund Distribution Protocols document that are available on our Documents page.
Settlement funds generally will be distributed to eligible class members who make claims through either: (1) the Simple Claim Form Option providing set amount payments for Residential Households, Businesses or Governmental Entities, or (2) the Individual Review Option which provides reimbursement of documented losses for Residential Households, Businesses, Governmental Entities, Wage Earners, Medical Claimants, and Pregnancy Claimants. The specific Claim Forms and related instructions are available on this website.
Further details regarding the lawsuit, the Class Action Settlement, and the process for making a claim can be found in the Court-ordered Notice document and by clicking on other portions of this website.