2 ex-Freedom executives agree to settlement in spill lawsuit

AP News
Posted: Dec 10, 2015 11:06 AM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Two former Freedom Industries executives have agreed to a settlement in a class-action lawsuit stemming from a chemical spill that tainted tap water for 300,000 people.

Under the proposed settlement, former Freedom President Gary Southern would pay $350,000 and former executive Dennis Farrell would pay $50,000.

A motion filed Wednesday by the plaintiffs asks the U.S. District Court in Charleston to give preliminary approval to the settlement and schedule a hearing on final approval. The plaintiffs are residents and businesses affected by the January 2014 spill of coal-cleaning chemicals from a Freedom site in Charleston.

Southern and Farrell awaiting sentencing on federal pollution charges. They are among several defendants named in the lawsuit.

Freedom filed for bankruptcy following the spill. A federal bankruptcy judge approved a liquidation plan in October.