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Bankruptcy Judge sets Aug. 1 deadline for Freedom Industries claims

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Freedom Industries creditors have until Aug. 1 to file their claims, and the deadline is for both individuals and businesses with claims stemming from the Elk River spill.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ronald G. Pearson set the deadline, and also appointed James W. Lane Jr. of Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC to serve as the Local Notice and Claims Agent. The claims agent assists in administration of the case, including preparing and publishing notices of the deadline to file claims, and offers limited clerical assistance to claimants to aid them in meeting the Aug. 1 filing deadline.

Freedom Industries filed for bankruptcy on Jan. 17 after MCHM, a cleaning chemical used by the coal industry, leaked from a storage tank and spilled into the Elk River, contaminating the water supply in a nine-county region. As many as 300,000 customers were affected by the spill, which spawned multiple lawsuits.

A key step in resolving the bankruptcy case is to determine the losses that Elk River Spill Claimants and other creditors of Freedom Industries have sustained. Claims must be submitted by Aug. 1 to be considered, Pearson said.

“Individuals and businesses who want to file a claim in the Freedom Industries bankruptcy case can file on the Court’s website at www.wvsb.uscourts.gov," Lane said. "It is very easy to file a claim online and the website is very user friendly."

Lane said his staff is also available to answer questions that people may have about the claims process, either by emailing them at claimagent@elkriverwvspill.com or calling (866) 245-0312.