CHARLESTON – The class action settlement for the West Virginia water crisis totals $159 million—$8 million more than the class action settlement amount.
There were a total of 95,155 claim forms that totaled $159,102,307, according to the March 20 periodic report of the settlement administrator filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
Of the nearly 100,000 claims, 86,917 were household claims, 5683 were business claims, 408 were government claims, 500 were wage earners, two wrongful death claims, three disability claims, 1,302 pregnancy claims, eight vision impairment claims and 332 other medical claims, according to the report.
The deadline to file a claim was Feb. 21. About 75 percent of known customers filed claims. There were 338 untimely claims filed.
Settlement administrators will not check for duplicate claims, consolidate claims filed by people at the same address and find claims filed without stating the claim value. If the settlement amount still exceeds the $151 million, amounts payable will likely be adjusted for the $151 million settlement.
The 2014 lawsuit claimed that West Virginia American Water failed to react or prepare for the spill when it occurred.
There are more than 230,000 residents and business owners included in the class action lawsuit.
Nine counties in West Virginia—almost 300,000 residents—were affected by the water contamination when the spill occurred in January 2014. A tank at Freedom Industries had leaked MCHM into the river.
Six of Freedom’s top officials plead guilty to criminal Clean Water Act violations related to the chemical spill.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 2:14-cv-01374