Lewisburg water case settles for $4,000,000

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On Nov. 20, Judge Robert E. Richardson preliminarily approved a Class Action Settlement Agreement in the amount of four million dollars in a Class Action brought by multiple law firms against Kenneth Pritt, Woodford Transportation and Woodford Oil Company following exposure to a diesel spill into a tributary that fed into the Anthony Creek in January of 2015.

The incident occurred on WV 92 just south of Neola, when Defendant Kenneth Pritt operated his tanker truck such that it left the roadway and entered into the tributary. The tanker separated from the truck portion when it went into the tributary where it started leaking.

As a result of the diesel spill, contaminants were introduced into the Greenbrier River causing the city of Lewisburg to shut down its water treatment plants at 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 24, 2015. By the afternoon of Jan. 25, the water supplies in these areas were exhausted, leaving parts of the community with no water.

As a result of the water shut-off caused by the Defendants’ conduct, area businesses and restaurants were forced to close; area schools and daycares were forced to close; and individuals were left without potable water for drinking, bathing, cooking and cleaning.

The Class includes all persons who resided in a dwelling that was supplied tap water by the Lewisburg Municipal Water System that was shut off on Jan. 24, 2015, due to the diesel spill in Anthony Creek on Jan. 23, and all owners of or persons who were hourly wage earning employees in a business supplied by the Lewisburg Municipal Water System that was shut off Jan. 24 due to the diesel spill in Anthony Creek on Jan. 23.

The Settlement terms are to be distributed as follows:

  • $250 for each residential household including one person, and $150 for each additional person in said residential household, which was provided tap water service from the water treatment plant operated by the City of Lewisburg on Jan. 24, and who was without water as a result of the Jan. 23 diesel spill into Anthony Creek.
  • $240 for each person employed on Jan. 24, 2015, at a business that was provided tap water service from the water treatment plant operated by the City of Lewisburg that shut down or partially shut down because it was without water as a result of the Jan. 23 diesel spill into Anthony Creek and who was not paid wages as a result of that shut-down; and
  • Payment of not more than $3,100 to each business that operated a property location provided tap water service from the water treatment plant operated by the City of Lewisburg.

For additional information you may contact Charles R. “Rusty” Webb at The Webb Law Centre, PLLC, 716 Lee Street, East, Charleston, WV 25301; by e-mail at rusty@rustywebb.com; by telephone 304-344-WEBB (9322); or statewide toll free at 1-888-344-WEBB (9322).

The settlement requires that a website must be established for the public to receive more information and updates while the settlement is ongoing. More information will be available as the settlement continues.