Federal Judge Turns Down $151 Million Water Crisis Settlement

Updated 1 year ago Edited by Tony Rutherford from Multiple Reports

The $151 million dollar proposed settlement with WV American Water and Eastman Chemical on behalf of all business and residential victims of the 2014 Elk River Water contamination crisis has been turned down by U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver Jr.

In a 92 page ruling, Copenhaver sent the parties back to the negotiating tables to correct cited deficiencies which included amounts awarded to certain  businesses, fairness and amounts for those applying for settlement compensation, and timeliness of distribution of funds. He also questioned aspects of attorney fee amounts and incentives. 

Under the rejected proposal, the class itself is composed of 224,000 class members in 105,000 households as well as over 7,000 businesses and government entities. A household of four would receive $1,035 under a "simple" claim which would not require monetary expense documentation. Business reimbursement would be based on annual revenue. They would receive $6,250 to $12,500. Those with over one million dollars in revenue would receive $25,000. Lodging businesses would receive higher amounts again based on annual revenues. 

Medical claims would be in  addition to the personal claims, if medical treatment was caused by exposure. 

Those qualified would have been able to apply for loss of wages. 

WV American Water spokeswoman , Laura Martin said in a prepared statement:

"The parties, as recognized by the court, put substantial effort into negotiating this settlement. We are evaluating the judge's order and anticipate responding to the court's concerns with further good faith settlement negotiations."

You can read a copy of the court's order by clicking here and downloading the PDF:


The link is provided by WSAZ.com; however, the order itself is also  available at PACER. 

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