Associated Press Published

Group Drops Class-Action Insurance Settlement in Spill Case

Freedom Industries

 Lawyers for businesses and people affected by a massive chemical spill last year say a settlement to fund community projects is no longer being considered.

In June 2014, lawyers for groups affected by the Freedom Industries spill proposed the money go toward projects benefitting the public, like health monitoring or more water testing.

Last week, lawyers wrote that the plan has been abandoned. Ex-Freedom executives opposed it, saying the insurance should cover their legal costs.

The Charleston Gazette reports that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ronald Pearson approved a $3.2 million insurance settlement last week without the public projects.

Freedom chief restructuring officer Mark Welch says he hopes to use the money to pay creditors other than spill victims.

The January 2014 spill contaminated drinking water for 300,000 people for days.