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Chemical Spill Taints Drinking Water

In January, a chemical company spilled a coal-cleaning agent into a West Virginia river, leaving 300,000 people without safe drinking water. Six executives of the chemical company were charged by federal authorities for violating the Clean Water Act.

On January 9, 2014, a Freedom Industries chemical tank ruptured, dumping approximately 10,000 gallons of the chemical MCHM into the Elk River. The drinking water for nine counties around Charleston, West Virginia was contaminated. More than 400 residents sought medical treatment.

Freedom Industries and its executives are charged with failing to inspect or maintain the steel storage tank that ruptured and did not implement a required spill prevention and control plan. In addition to violating the Clean Water Act, Freedom’s former chief executive, Gary Southern, was also charged with bankruptcy fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud in an alleged scheme to protect around $8 million in assets.

The leaking MCHM, or 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, flowed into intake valves of the West Virginia American Water Co. from the contaminated Elk River. Residents lined up for bottled water at National Guard water tankers.

When someone is injured or dies as a result of another’s negligent act, financial recovery may be available. Such recovery is particularly important when permanent, life changing injuries are incurred. It is important to contact someone who understands the intricacies of the injured party’s right to recover.

Abraham Watkins offers a free consultation to anyone wishing to pursue a claim for injuries that occurred as a result of another’s negligence.

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