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Archive for the 'Toxic Substances Lawsuits' Category
It has been more than a month since a chemical spill in Charleston West Virginia contaminated the water supply of some 300,000 people, yet many residents are still wary of drinking the water.
The Huffington Post chronicled the story of West Virginia resident Jeanette Maddox, who is one of many people who goes out of her way to drive to a shopping center parking lot and fill jugs of water from the spigot of a tanker truck. Maddox believes this to be a necessary burden to feel safe drinking water. More West Virginia Residents Still Concerned with Drinking Water a Month after Chemical Spill
More than three weeks after a chemical spill left 300,000 West Virginia residents without clean running water, there is new health concern: formaldehyde.
In the hours following the discovery of the leak, health officials struggled to provide accurate and reliable information about 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol, or MCHM, which was spilling into the Elk River. Residents were instructed not to cook or drink with their tap water but were told little else. Now it has come to light that MCHM can break down into formaldehyde, and residents are likely inhaling it, according to LATimes.com. More West Virginia Residents Worried they are Inhaling Formaldehyde from Chemical Spill
The company responsible for the chemical spill that left more than 300,000 people without clean drinking water for several days filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday.
Freedom Industries filed the bankruptcy paperwork in federal bankruptcy court in Charleston. A lawyer for the company said the spill occurred “after a broken water line caused the ground to freeze beneath an aging chemical storage tank, pushing an unidentified object into the bottom of the tank,” the New York Times reported. More Freedom Industries Files for Bankruptcy as Lawsuits Pile Up
The company responsible for the chemical spill that left about 300,000 people in West Virginia without tap water for several days did not inform investigators about a second chemical in the leak, state officials said.
Freedom Industries had previously only identified the chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, or crude MCHM, as spilling from the hole in one of their tanks. It was reported that 7,500 gallons of MCHM leaking and spilling into the Elk River, which provides the drinking water for Charleston and surrounding communities. The Material Safety Data Sheet for this substance shows that the chemical can be harmful if swallowed or breathed in and can lead to irritation in the skin and eyes, trouble breathing, nausea and non-stop vomiting. More Freedom Industries Fails to Disclose Second Chemical in Spill for Nearly Two Weeks
West Virginia American Water pulled its bulk water tankers out of service after the company received complaints that the water being distributed to residents had the same odor as the water from last week’s chemical spill into the Elk River.
Kanawha County Manager Jennifer Sayre told the Charleston Gazette that reports of the licorice-like smell began coming in late Thursday afternoon regarding the water being distributed at the Crossings Mall in Elkview and at Riverside High School. Sayre said the county had received conflicting information about where those tankers were filled and elected to pull them out until everything was cleared up.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alarmed local residents when it recommended that pregnant women not consume any of the water. While the tainted water continues to be investigated, bottle water is being handed out at local malls, recreation centers and police departments and fire stations, the Gazette reported.
State government and water company officials said they would continue to rely on the CDC for guidance. Thousands of West Virginia residents remain unable to use the water supply for anything more than flushing a toilet.
The chemical spill was first identified last week when a 48,000 tank from Freedom Industries leaked out some 7,500 gallons of a chemical known as 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol – a foaming agent used in the coal preparation process. The Material Safety Data Sheet for this substance shows that the chemical can be harmful if swallowed or breathed in and can lead to irritation in the skin and eyes. Exposure to the chemical has also been linked to trouble breathing, nausea and non-stop vomiting.
A spokeswoman for West Virginia American Water Co., Laura Jordan, told CNN the company had received multiple calls about illnesses. Jordan said the company has advised those callers to seek medical attention if something does not feel right.
The original ban on using the water affected nine counties and left thousands of people unable to work, many for several days. Several communities closed down school, restaurants and other businesses because of the suspected dangers associated with the chemical spill.
The result has been the surfacing of at least eight class action lawsuits. The lawsuits allege that on Jan. 9, Freedom Industries “negligently and recklessly caused a chemical leak at its Etowah River Terminal plant, which resulted in a chemical spill into the Elk River,” the West Virginia Record reported.
The lawsuits further allege that Freedom Industries had a responsibility to the people in the surrounding communities to use reasonable care and properly run and operate its Etowah River Terminal plant. The lawsuit accuses Freedom of negligently and recklessly breaching its duty by causing the chemical leak and permitting or allowing the unlawful release of the chemical into the Elk River, the West Virginia Record reported.
It is expect the number of lawsuits will increase in the coming days and weeks as the details involving why the spill occurred become available.
A sandwich shop and all other businesses that lost finances as result of the chemical spill in West Virginia has filed a class action lawsuit against Freedom Industries Inc. and West Virginia-American Water Company.
The lawsuit, brought by Kanawha Gourmet Sandwiches, LLC, was filed Saturday in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County, West Virginia. The lawsuit alleges that the businesses class were subjected to toxic water contaminated when a hazardous substance known as 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol leaked onto the their premises along Elk River in Kanawha County, West Virginia. More Businesses Affected by West Virginia Chemical Spill File Class Action Lawusit
In wake of the chemical spill in West Virginia that left 300,000 people unable to use water for several days, reports are surfacing that the state ignored a plan presented three years ago targeted at preventing hazardous chemical accidents.
Following an investigation into a chemical explosion that killed two people at the Bayer CropScience Plant in August 2008, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board recommended a new safety program to the state, the Charleston Gazette reported. However, it was never acted upon. More West Virginia Ignored Chemical Safety Plan
A class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of West Virginia residents who were impacted by a chemical leak that left about 300,000 people without clean running water.
The chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol leaked out of a storage tank owned by Freedom Industries, Inc. and West Virginia-American Water Company and onto residents’ properties on January 9. Many residents were unable to drink, bathe, or wash clothes in the contaminated water. The situation was so dire that the Governor of West Virginia declared a state of emergency. According to news accounts, as many as 100,000 were affected by the spill. More West Virginia Chemical Leak Class Action Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Residents
A chemical spill in the Elk River in Charleston led to much of the city and other surrounding communities shutting down over health concerns.
The U.S. government joined the state early Friday in declaring a disaster. Meanwhile, the West Virginia National Guard said it planned to hand out bottled drinking water to emergency services agencies in the nine affected counties, the Associated Press reported. At the time of the declaration, it remained unclear how much of the chemical spilled into the river or how long the advisory would last, Fox News reported. More Chemical Spill Shuts Down Parts of West Virginia
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