CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Those impacted by the Jan. 9 chemical spill into the Elk River have just two weeks left to file a claim against Freedom Industries.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court representative Jim Lane, a Charleston attorney, has been getting out into the impacted area trying to reach out to as many people as possible to tell them about their options.
He was in Boone County Thursday. He spent the early afternoon going from business to business in Madison informing people about the process. However, no one showed up for a public meeting in Madison City Council Chambers later that afternoon. Lane said he’s not disappointed but rather a little surprised that more people aren’t interested in finding out how to file a claim. He said it’s relatively simple. All you need to do is log on to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The court’s website has a link to Freedom Industries. All information you may need about filing claims, the Aug. 1 deadline, proof of claims forms, can all be obtained on that website. You can actually file a claim electronically by going to that website,” explained Lane.
You can file for a claim if you lost wages, had medical expenses related to the chemical or had to purchase supplies to get by until the water was turned back on. Lane said there’s a couple reasons why he believes so few have signed up so far.
“A number of people simply do not want to go through the exercise of calculating what their out of pocket expenditures were and worrying about filing a claim with the bankruptcy court,” said Lane.
Another deterrent he said is people don’t have a lot of out of pocket expenses to make it worthwhile. That’s what he’s hearing from people he talks to.
The deadline to file is Aug. 1. You can file a claim on online that day. However, if you plan to use the U.S. Postal Service to file, you’ll need to start sooner.
“If you file them on paper, you can’t send them on Aug.1. They will arrive too late. The bankruptcy court must actually received it and docketed the proofs of claims on August 1 or before that date,” stressed Lane.
If you need some one-on-one help filing a claim, you can call 1-866-245-0312.
Lane believes as the deadline approaches, more people will begin to file those claims.