WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


Freedom Industries Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

Reported: Jan. 17, 2014 3:11 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 17, 2014 5:01 PM EST
News Image

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Kallie Cart) – The Chapter 11 bankruptcy sought by Freedom Industries basically blames the water company for the spill at Freedom's facility in Charleston.

The filing was filed on behalf of Freedom Industries and its larger parent company, Chemstream Holdings. All of the documents were signed by Freedom Industry President Gary Southern. Freedom claims a water line break adjacent to its facility on Barlow Drive in Charleston may have contributed to freezing of the ground beneath the company’s storage tank, causing the hole that lead to that leak of MCHM that got into the Elk River

Mike Dorsey of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said that didn't happen.

Freedom Industries does note that there is an ongoing investigation. The company also notes that this leak prompted a state of emergency where people were quote "encouraged” to refrain from using the water supplied by the local water company. In addition, Freedom said it understands that as a result of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin telling people that -- that various businesses were closed.

Freedom also said because of all of the media coverage its vendors now require cash on delivery, and the company can't afford it.

Several businesses have already filed lawsuits against Freedom Industries, so have people who said they became sick because of the chemical leak. So what does this bankruptcy filing mean for those lawsuits?

According to the clerk in federal bankruptcy court -- the bankruptcy filing institutes an automatic stay on those lawsuits -- at least initially.

Freedom now has to submit a plan to the court on how they are going to reorganize their debt and pay its debtors. But this is a way for the company to protect its assets, and will, of course, slow this entire legal process.

Eyewitness News also found out Freedom Industries owes nearly 2.4 million to the IRS, and about $4,000 to the state for unpaid unemployment compensation tax. Freedom made $30 million in gross revenue last year.




CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Kallie Cart, Jeff Morris) -- Freedom Industries, the company responsible for a chemical leak that led to a massive water crisis in the region, has filed for bankruptcy.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Charleston federal bankruptcy court, court documents said.

Freedom's effort to seek bankruptcy protection comes at a time when it faces multiple class-action lawsuits over the leak that prompted West Virginia American Water to issue a do-not-drink water advisory that affected nine counties.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection also has ordered the company to cease operations at its Barlow Drive facility near Charleston, where the leak occurred, while the site is cleaned up.

Earlier this week, the DEP said it issued five citations to the company related to the storage of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol (MCHM) at Poca Blending in Nitro. Some of the chief concerns are there is no secondary containment in the event of another leak or plans on what do in an emergency, the DEP said. Freedom was ordered to provide plans to the state agency addressing the issues.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Pikeville Doctor Pleads Guilty To Prescription Misbranding Conspiracy
News
Apr. 18, 2014 11:36 AM EDT
PIKEVILLE, Ky. (Tiersa Davis)-- Prosecutors said a ...
Full News Story

Cabell County Man Facing Child Pornography Charges
News
Apr. 18, 2014 11:00 AM EDT
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (Tiersa Davis) -- A Cabell County ...
Full News Story

Child Being Treated After Being Bitten In The Face By Dog In Athens County
News
Apr. 18, 2014 10:58 AM EDT
THE PLAINS, Ohio (Tiersa Davis) -- A child is being ...
Full News Story


News WV Tourism Gets Financial Boost To Offset Negative Publicity From Chemical Spill
Apr. 18, 2014 9:50 AM EDT
News Names Released Of Man Killed, Woman Injured In Route 60 Crash West Of St. Albans
Apr. 18, 2014 9:44 AM EDT
News Fire Destroys Two-Story Home In Clendenin
Apr. 18, 2014 9:18 AM EDT
News Body Discovered In Eastern Kanawha County; Death Does Not Appear To Be Suspicious
Apr. 18, 2014 9:36 AM EDT
News Woman Charged With Murder In Lesage Shooting; Victim identified
Apr. 17, 2014 11:10 PM EDT
News Nurses Accused Of Stealing From Senior Home Residents
Apr. 17, 2014 11:22 PM EDT
News South Charleston Police Firefighters Getting Raise
Apr. 17, 2014 10:56 PM EDT
News Cabell Man Accused Of Break-In Now In Jail
Apr. 17, 2014 10:56 PM EDT
News Community Meeting Focuses On Sentencing For Criminals
Apr. 17, 2014 10:57 PM EDT
News Felon Caught With 80 Guns Pleads Guilty
Apr. 17, 2014 10:58 PM EDT
News Woman's Body Found In Ohio River In Hancock County
Apr. 17, 2014 6:57 PM EDT
News Murdered Woman's Son Working To Honor, Remember Her During Hope Walk
Apr. 17, 2014 11:30 PM EDT
News Kids Help A Baby They Find In The Street
Apr. 17, 2014 9:40 PM EDT
News Lil' Bit Of Heaven Cupcakes Recognized As One Of America's Best
Apr. 17, 2014 11:32 PM EDT
News Controversy Over Plants' Domestic Violence Allegations Starting To Affect Kanawha Court Cases
Apr. 17, 2014 6:10 PM EDT
News Firefighter Hopefuls Show Off Skills
Apr. 17, 2014 6:39 PM EDT
News Coal Train Cars Derail In Mercer County
Apr. 17, 2014 6:41 PM EDT
News Barlow Drive Closed For Pothole Repair
Apr. 17, 2014 6:41 PM EDT
News Man Charged With Huntington Murder Is Caught In Ky.
Apr. 17, 2014 6:42 PM EDT
News SUV Pulled From Ohio River In Point Pleasant Area Matches Description Of Stolen Vehicle
Apr. 17, 2014 6:42 PM EDT
News U.S. 60 Closed Following Fatal Accident Near St. Albans
Apr. 17, 2014 5:46 PM EDT
News Morrisey Seeks Dismissal Of Charleston Challenge To WV Gun Law
Apr. 17, 2014 11:01 PM EDT
News Rock Slide Closes WV Route 20 Near Hinton
Apr. 17, 2014 3:05 PM EDT
News Kanawha Deputies Investigating After Woman Says Gun Pointed At Her
Apr. 17, 2014 6:43 PM EDT
News "Streaky" The Eagle Dies From Injuries
Apr. 17, 2014 11:50 AM EDT
News Former Junior ROTC Instructor Linked In Sex Case Allowed Visitation For His Minor Children, Grandchildren
Apr. 17, 2014 6:45 PM EDT
News Suspicious Backpack Found Near Qdoba At Dudley Farms Plaza Turns Out To Be Harmless
Apr. 17, 2014 11:09 AM EDT
News Wayne County Judge Overturns Man's 1989 Murder, Malicious Wounding Convictions
Apr. 17, 2014 2:34 PM EDT
News Two People Injured In Jackson County Fire
Apr. 17, 2014 10:03 AM EDT
News New Pikeville Office To Help Entrepreneurs
Apr. 17, 2014 10:12 AM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Corps seeks volunteers to help at Burnsville Lake

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is looking for volunteers to work at Burnsville Lake.
Full Story

Kentucky News
2 shot while hunting in eastern Ky.; 1 killed

Police say one man is dead and another injured after they were shot while hunting turkeys in eastern Kentucky.
Full Story

Ohio News
Organic farmer can keep land after marijuana raid

An Ohio judge is allowing an organic farmer to keep his 5-acre property despite the discovery that he was growing hundreds of marijuana plants.
Full Story

PREVIOUS NEWS: NOV | CURRENT







Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.