Freedom Industries Chief Drops Shell out, Insurance Requests in West Virginia Spill

The president of Freedom Industries “bears no fault” for a West Virginia chemical spill that spurred a water-use ban for up to 10 days for 300,000 people, his attorney mentioned in a court filing.

On Friday, Freedom President Gary Southern withdrew his application to get paid for work he presently did throughout the company’s bankruptcy proceedings. He also wanted Freedom and its insurance to cover his legal charges related to the Jan. 9 spill.

A U.S. trustee objected to the legal expenditures motion in West Virginia Southern District Bankruptcy Court. A creditors committee opposed both.

Although withdrawing the motions, Southern’s lawyer Steven Thomas wrote that the executive still did not feel both request was improper.

“Mr. Southern is withdrawing the Application to consider to finish the unfounded allegations and ceaseless vilification of him for an incident that occurred a mere 6 working days after he became the President of the Debtor, for which he bears no fault,” Thomas wrote in Friday’s court filing.

Southern also needed to save the company’s sparse monetary assets for creditors in search of payment, the court filing states.

Southern’s motion claims he “could have walked away as a lot of other individuals did,” but has invested a great number of hours remediating the company’s harm.

Southern, who is paid a $ 230,000 salary, joined the firm Jan. one following Chemstream Holdings Inc. bought Freedom, turning into its parent company. Days later, a Freedom tank leaked coal-cleaning chemicals into the Elk River just upstream of a water plant, spurring the water-use ban.

Southern final obtained a paycheck covering providers by way of Jan. 19.

Weighed down by environmental cleanup orders and large fees, Freedom filed for bankruptcy 8 days following the spill. The firm is under state orders to start stripping down its tank site in Charleston.

Southern accrued about $ 49,000 in individual legal charges for representation in 2 lawsuits and in state and federal investigations about the spill, court paperwork show.

Dozens of organizations and residents have sued Freedom in excess of misplaced wages and income during a water-use ban. Their circumstances remain frozen although bankruptcy proceedings proceed, and they are waiting in line with other creditors searching for compensation from Freedom.

Freedom also paid contractors that employed Southern about $ 5 million the year preceding the bankruptcy, court information show.

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