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
West Nile Found In Cabell Mosquitoes
News
Aug. 20, 2014 11:48 PM EDT
The West Nile Virus has been detected in the West Virginia ...
Full News Story

Police Looking For Men Accused Of Robbing Pizza Delivery Driver
News
Aug. 20, 2014 10:52 PM EDT
Charleston police are investigating after a pizza delivery ...
Full News Story

Putnam County Man Convicted of Rape; Says He is Innocent
News
Aug. 20, 2014 10:31 PM EDT
Back in court, Joseph Lavigne Jr. was hoping for two ...
Full News Story and Video


News Early Morning Car Burglaries in Putnam County
Aug. 20, 2014 10:15 PM EDT
News Charleston Police Continue Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over Campaign
Aug. 20, 2014 9:11 PM EDT
News Police Say At Least One Person Breaks Into Pharmacy, Steals Prescription Drugs
Aug. 20, 2014 9:01 PM EDT
News Capito, Tennant To Compete In Chamber Senate Forum
Aug. 20, 2014 8:47 PM EDT
News Mom Facing Charges After Kicking Son Out Of Car, Leaving Him to Walk Home
Aug. 20, 2014 8:31 PM EDT
News Charges Dropped Against Supreme Court Justice Margaret Workman's Son
Aug. 20, 2014 8:58 PM EDT
News Dog Saves Owners' Lives
Aug. 20, 2014 6:36 PM EDT
News State Mine Board To Decide On Kanawha State Forest Mine
Aug. 20, 2014 6:11 PM EDT
News Jury Rules In Case Involving Logger Accused Of Illegally Cutting At Coonskin
Aug. 20, 2014 9:16 PM EDT
News Five Arrested In Franklin Furnace; Linked To Stolen Property Cases In The Area
Aug. 20, 2014 5:06 PM EDT
News WVAW Issues Boil Water Advisory For 75 Customers In Barboursville
Aug. 20, 2014 4:47 PM EDT
News Firefighters Say Residential Fire Started In Heat Fan
Aug. 20, 2014 4:22 PM EDT
News Police Say Man Arrested In Calhoun County Is Wanted In Maryland
Aug. 20, 2014 7:04 PM EDT
News Deputies Say Man Arrested In Connection To Drug Offenses During Traffic Stop
Aug. 20, 2014 7:05 PM EDT
News Second Arrest Made In Eastern KY Fatal Fire
Aug. 20, 2014 7:01 PM EDT
News YMCA Honors Former WV Governor
Aug. 20, 2014 7:00 PM EDT
News Health Officials Say Two Ohioans Have West Nile Virus
Aug. 20, 2014 2:10 PM EDT
News MU Welcomes Incoming Students
Aug. 20, 2014 9:57 PM EDT
News Victim's Name Released In Jackson County Fatal Fire
Aug. 20, 2014 8:29 PM EDT
News New Elementary School Opens In Jackson County
Aug. 20, 2014 1:36 PM EDT
News Fourth Arrest Made In Connection To Foodland Robbery And Shooting
Aug. 20, 2014 1:19 PM EDT
News Multiple Businesses Struck By "Marble" Vandals
Aug. 20, 2014 12:05 AM EDT
News Victim's Name Release In Deadly Crash Involving Train
Aug. 19, 2014 11:15 PM EDT
News Increased Heroin Calls Delay Ambulance Runs
Aug. 19, 2014 11:14 PM EDT
News Bridge Valley Opens New Training Center For Workforce Development
Aug. 19, 2014 10:19 PM EDT
News Overcrowding Forces Braxton County Students To Transfer Schools
Aug. 19, 2014 9:30 PM EDT
News Reports Of Sheen On Elk River Tuesday
Aug. 19, 2014 8:52 PM EDT
News Vacant Properties Auctioned Off In Huntington
Aug. 19, 2014 8:22 PM EDT
News $1 Million Powerball Ticket Goes Unclaimed
Aug. 19, 2014 8:04 PM EDT
News Former GOP Presidential Candidate Stumps For WV Republicans
Aug. 19, 2014 7:46 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Traveling sports exhibit on W.Va. tour

A traveling exhibit on the role of sports in American culture is making its way across West Virginia.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Free courses aimed at helping workers, employers

Kentucky's Labor Cabinet is planning to offer a series of free training courses later this month that it says will benefit workers and employers.
Full Story

Ohio News
Ohio tourist robbed by homeless couple in Florida

Police say two homeless people robbed an Ohio tourist, then forced her to drive them around Daytona Beach.
Full Story







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.