Incurred Losses for West Virginia Businesses After Chemical Spill

By JONATHAN MATTISE | May 12, 2014

Restaurants and storefronts are buzzing again in West Virginia’s capital city, but many still can’t recoup money lost while they shut down after a January chemical spill.

Businesses have sued companies tied to the spill, tried to collect insurance claims or sought government loans. But some say the options available leave little confidence they can recover what they’ve lost.

The Jan. 9 spill in Charleston left 300,000 people without safe drinking water for days. Businesses that depend on clean water, from eateries to salons, were temporarily ordered to close.

More than 60 lawsuits target companies involved. But Freedom Industries, the company at the center of the spill, froze its lawsuits by filing for bankruptcy. Freedom’s financial resources are dwindling.

No state or federal disaster loan program has awarded money.

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