Faced with mounting lawsuits over West Virginia’s massive chemical spill which contaminated the water supply of some 300,000 people, the company responsible filed for bankruptcy. But within that bankruptcy, another fight is looming.

According to U.S. Department of Justice bankruptcy trustee Judy A. Robbins, Freedom Industries is seeking to be represented by a law firm that may be too close to the company and its dealings. Specifically, Robbins said in a filing with the bankruptcy court on Wednesday, McGuireWoods LLP has represented both Chemstream Holdings, Inc. – the company that acquired Freedom Industries just weeks before the spill – and J. Clifford Forrest, who is both the owner of Chemstream and the owner of WV Funding LLC. WV Funding is the company that might be loaning Freedom Industries money to pull it out of bankruptcy, a fact some have said ‘smells of collusion.”

In addition to McGuireWoods representing Forrest and Chemstream, the firm has also represented Rosebud Mining – the third-largest coal producer in Pennsylvania, which is also controlled by Forrest. Chemstream Holdings owns Freedom, and has the same exact address as Rosebud Mining. Freedom’s peculiar company tie-ups make it hard to determine who, exactly, will be held accountable for its losses.

The […]

Read the Full Article