CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Attorneys have moved beyond Freedom Industries in a new batch of lawsuits tied to last month's Elk River chemical spill.
In fact, the company's name doesn't appear at all in some of the recent lawsuits filed in Kanawha County Circuit Court.
Four lawsuits filed in the last few weeks list only West Virginia American Water Co. as a defendant. An attorney in one of the cases would not comment on why Freedom wasn't also listed as a defendant.
Freedom Industries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Jan. 17. The bankruptcy case caused all civil litigation involving the company to be placed in "time out." Attorneys can file a motion to lift the civil stay, but so far, none have.
The bankruptcy stay will not affect cases against the water company, the attorney said.
In one of the lawsuits, filed against the water company on Jan. 24, residents said West Virginia American Water should have taken more precautions to prevent the contamination of its water supply.
Local residents Kristy Ord, Sherri Vance, Cambree Vance, Ann Perrine, Sandra Bowles, Jennifer Totten, William G. Jones are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
Several of them said they became ill after coming into contact with the contaminated water.
The lawsuit said Ord, who is pregnant, drank the water after a public all-clear signal was given. Two days later, though, government officials announced pregnant women should not drink the water.