"It appears that poisoning the water supply of 300,000 people proved to be too much for the coal mining company. Just one week after causing the pollution disaster, Freedom Industries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The company declared bankruptcy in anticipation to the flood of lawsuits they are expected to be slapped with due to the incident. Around 20 lawsuits and a Justice Department investigation have already started.
The Justice Department has said that the Chapter 11 designation won’t affect their ability to investigate the company, however the lawsuits are now thrown into question. The filing puts a hold on all of the lawsuits filed against Freedom Industries. It’s possible that, due to the sheer number of creditors and banks coming after Freedom Industries during the bankruptcy proceedings, that the lawsuits will go unpaid. That means – as usual – the people most affected by a disaster are the ones least compensated in its aftermath.
According to the West Virginia Gazette:
The company’s assets and liabilities are each listed as between $1 million and $10 million in the bankruptcy filing. Chemstream Holdings Inc. is the sole owner of Freedom Industries, according to the filing. Gary Southern, who is identified as Freedom’s president, signed all of the bankruptcy documents.
Freedom Industries has had a long history of bad business practices, both financially and environmentally.
According to documents released in the bankruptcy filing, the company owed over $3.6 million to 20 different creditors. It also had a ton of unpaid taxes going back for more than a decade for which the IRS had placed at least three liens on the company’s property."