Associated Press Published

Judge: Utility Not Responsible in Wages Lost in Water Crisis

Elk River

A judge has ruled against local workers who sued a water company to recoup wages lost during a January 2014 chemical spill.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver in Charleston granted West Virginia American Water’s motion to dismiss those claims. The judge denied a similar motion by Eastman Chemical, the producer of the spilled chemical.


It was one of several rulings issued in the class-action lawsuit against the water company and Eastman by residents, businesses and workers who were ordered not to use contaminated water. A trial begins Oct. 25.


The lawsuit alleges the water company was unprepared for the Freedom Industries spill that spurred a do-not-use order on tap water for 300,000 people for days.


It claims Eastman didn’t advise Freedom of the chemical’s dangers.