Claims growing against fizzled spill company

CHARLESTON (AP) — Thousands of agencies, businesses and people are trying to squeeze millions of dollars out of the bankrupt company behind West Virginia’s chemical spill in January.

Case claims agent James Lane says Freedom Industries can expect about 5,000 groups to request money in bankruptcy claims over the spill. The total sought has topped $170 million and is growing.

Aug. 1 was the claims filing deadline, though Lane is still tallying numbers.

The state of West Virginia is seeking $1.8 million. Mardi Gras Casino & Resort wants $16 million. West Virginia American Water wants any damages from related lawsuits to be covered, in addition to $1.1 million for filters it changed.

Many claimants say their lives, health and paychecks suffered when the spill rendered tap water unsafe for 300,000 people for days.

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