Associated Press Published

Local Health Department Joining W.Va. Chemical Spill Lawsuit


The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department plans to join the city of Charleston in suing over a Jan. 9 chemical spill that contaminated 300,000 West Virginians’ water supply.
County Health Department board members voted Tuesday to partner on the lawsuit. The city hasn’t filed anything yet.

County Health officer Rahul Gupta said the department incurred more than $200,000 in costs while responding to the spill. It’s unclear which entities a lawsuit would target.
Dozens of businesses and individuals are suing the company that leaked chemicals, Freedom Industries. Many claim they lost wages and profits during a water-use ban that lasted up to 10 days. Freedom is temporarily shielded from lawsuits during bankruptcy proceedings.

Other lawsuits target West Virginia American Water and Eastman Chemical Co., which produces the main spilled chemical.