Residents, affected businesses could get legal relief from Martinsburg chemical accident

West Virginia

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — After the Christmas Eve chemical leak at the Berkeley County wastewater treatment plant here, the city rebounded quickly.

Evacuated residents soon returned home and businesses reopened after losing a critical day of greeting shoppers at the height of the holiday season.

But downtown attorney Paul G. Taylor, has prepared a complaint for the 23rd judicial circuit court that merchants are entitled to compensation for lost sales, employees are due lost wages and residents should be awarded damages for their inconvenience from the accident.

His suit holds the city and its contractor at the plant responsible. Reports on the morning of the accident attributed the release of noxious vapors for miles beyond the city to an unintended combination of sodium hypochlorite and ferric chloride just before dawn on December 23.

Judge Laura Faircloth is assigned to the case.

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