Freedom Industries President Appears in Federal Bankruptcy Court

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 1/21/14 @ 11:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Attorneys for the company behind West Virginia's chemical spill said in federal bankruptcy court Tuesday that they've secured a deal for up to $4 million in credit to continue operations.

Mark Freelander, an attorney for Freedom, released key details. He said the arrangement reached after an hours-long court hearing would allow Freedom Industries to continue paying its employees and top vendors and also provide funds to cover for environmental cleanup from a Jan. 9 chemical spill in the Elk River.

The spill contaminated water supplies for some 300,000 people in West Virginia.

The agreement with a lender comes after Freedom Industries President Gary Southern said earlier Tuesday that the company had already paid about $800,000 last week to remediate environmental damage from the spill.



ORIGINAL STORY 1/21/14 @ 10 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- The company behind West Virginia's chemical spill is in a "death spiral" spurred by a "perception problem."

Freedom Industries President Gary Southern made the assertion in federal bankruptcy court Tuesday. His company wants up to $5 million in credit to continue operations. The company wants to use a lender run by an executive in charge of Freedom Industries' parent company.

After four hours of testimony and cross-examination, Chief Judge Ronald G. Pearson suggested having Freedom use $5 million of its own money from a $20 million merger Dec. 31.

Pearson said he's interested in a deal that keeps Freedom employees paid and covers environmental cleanup.

Southern said the company paid about $800,000 last week to remediate environmental damage caused by the Jan. 9 spill, which contaminated water for 300,000 people.


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