Lawyers Flocking to West Virginia Chemical Spill Already Talking About Punitive Damages.

The Researching Paralegal

Lawyers Aim Bigger Than Freedom Industries in West Virginia Chemical Spill, by Paul M. Barrett, Bloomberg Businessweek

In a neo-Tuscan villa in an office park near the Charleston, W. Va., airport, seven West Virginia plaintiffs’ lawyers gathered on Jan. 13 for a council of war. Chemical contamination that four days earlier had cut off tap water to 300,000 West Virginians was making its way west into Ohio. Local authorities were saying that Freedom Industries, the source of the 7,500 gallons of rogue coal-processing chemical, may not have acted swiftly to warn about the seepage. And the federal prosecutor in town sounded dead serious about a criminal investigation.

No surprise, then, that the atmosphere in the elegant conference room of Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler, while businesslike, had an undertone of bellicose joy. ‘We’re looking at punitive damages, ‘piercing the corporate veil’ at Freedom Industries, and holding the water…

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