Court Rejects Settlement in West Virginia Case

A proposed $151 million settlement involving West Virginia American Water and Eastman Chemical as a result of the Elk River chemical spill has been delayed until certain conditions laid out by a US District Court judge can be met.  The 2014 spill of the chemical MCHM, from a Freedom Industries tank, deprived thousands of customers of the Charleston, WV water system of useable water for days.  The proposed settlement was for a class action lawsuit filed by those residents and businesses impacted by the shutdown.  In his order, the judge questions the fairness of the tiered structure of the settlement’s payments to businesses, the claims resolution and distribution process, and medical issues claims.  The judge also has concerns about the attorneys’ fees.   The parties may refile an amended settlement agreement that resolves these issues.