Latest IEI fire lawsuit names DuPont among defendants

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va.-(WTAP) UPDATE: 11/30/17 4:25 P.M.

The list of lawsuits stemming from last month’s fire at the IEI warehouse continues to grow.

The latest case was filed Nov. 28 in U.S. District Court in Charleston and is the first to name DuPont as a defendant. IEI, Sirnaik LLC and several associated companies are also named as defendants.

According to the lawsuit, DuPont sold hazardous materials from its Washington Works plant that were stored in the warehouse. It says DuPont “knew or should have known” about numerous environmental violations at the warehouse and that it continued selling hazardous materials to IEI knowing they would stored at the warehouse.

DuPont “had a duty to work with customers, carriers, suppliers, distributors and contractors to foster the safe and secure use of its chemical products and to encourage and assist other companies in the safe storage of the chemicals it sells to others.”

The suit also alleges negligence on the the part of the Sirnaik-affiliated companies, citing numerous violations documented by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. It says the owners failed to properly operate and maintain the warehouse.

The suit was filed by attorneys Timothy Bailey, Harry Deitzler, Anthony Majestro and Patrick McFarland on behalf of five Mid-Ohio Valley residents and two Parkersburg businesses.

At least three other lawsuits were filed in state court shortly after the fire, but those cases have since been transferred to federal court.

Update: 11/21/2017 4:10 P.M.

Lawsuits filed after the IEI Plastics warehouse fire in late October have now been referred to federal court in Charleston.

The request for removal of the suits from Wood County Circuit Court was filed by Parkersburg attorney David Sims, who, along with Charleston attorney Kathy Brown, is representing several residents of the vicinity of the fire scene.

The suits claim the residents suffered effects of the smoke of the fire that burned for eight days in late October.

Update: 11/20/2017 4:50 P.M

The West Virginia Supreme Court has appointed Harrison County Circuit Judge Thomas Bedell to hear lawsuits from the IEI warehouse fire-filed within days of when the fire broke out October 21.

This, after Wood County's three circuit judges recused themselves from the proceedings last week.

Two of the three cases field were originally assigned to Judge Robert Waters, while the other was assigned to Judge Jason Wharton.

The supreme court's appointment covers those, and any future cases filed regarding the fire.

The suits name Surniak Holdings, L.L.C., the property's owner, as a defendant.

Update: 11/01/2017 5:40 P.M.

Another lawsuit relating to the IEI Plastics Recycling fire is filed in Wood County Circuit Court.

Filed by the Sims Law Firm, it charges the company was negligent in operating the recycling facility destroyed in the fire that broke out October 21.

It also accuses the company of illegally operating a dump site there, and for wrongfully withholding information on what was stored there.

They add that action hampered firefighters efforts to put it out.

In addition to seeking financial damages and medical monitoring, it requires IEI to provide safe storage of plastics materials.

A hearing on the case is set for November 22.

UPDATE: 10/31/2017, 2:00 P.M.

Parkersburg attorney Jim Leach filed a class action lawsuit on Tuesday against the people and companies he says are responsible for the fire that destroyed the IEI Plastics Recycling warehouse in south Parkersburg, and allegedly caused health problems for many local residents.

Attorney Jim Leach says he is partnering with Detroit-based Liddle & Dubin, P.C., a firm that focuses on class action litigation surrounding environmental impacts, to help local residents collect money in the lawsuit.

The class action lawsuit, filed on behalf of 3 Parkersburg plaintiffs in Wood County Circuit Court, is against Saurabh Naik, International Export-Import, Inc., Surnaik Holdings of WV, LLC, Sirnaik, LLC, Polymer Alliance Services, LLC, and Green Sustainable Solutions, LLC.

The lawsuit alleges, in part, that Saurabh Naik and his companies' failure to correct WV DEP violations and known fire safety hazards at the IEI, Inc. Plastics Recycling warehouse in south Parkersburg contributed to the cause and spread of the fire that destroyed that facility and spread burning plastics and chemicals into the region's air, from October 21 to October 29.

Read the full legal complaint filed in Wood County Circuit Court, at the "IEI Complaint Filed By Jim Leach" .PDF file under the "Related Documents" section of this story.

Jim Leach L.C. and Liddle & Dubin, P.C. are encouraging those affected by the fire to visit the "Jim Leach IEI, Inc. Fire Lawsuit Site" (under the "Related Links" section of this story) to fill out the “IEI Plastics Fire Survey” concerning exposure to the fire that will assist in the investigation of this matter.

Their legal team is available for free consultations concerning the legal rights of those affected by the IEI, Inc. Fire.

ORIGINAL STORY: 10/30/2017, 6:31 P.M.

A resident of Camden Avenue has filed the second lawsuit stemming from the fire that began October 21 at the IEI Plastics recycling plant.

Paul Snider says it also includes residents and businesses in an 8.5 mile radius of the warehouse.

It charges negligence on the part of the building's owner Surniak Holdings, L.L.C.

It also alleges reckless, willful and wanton indifference motivated by financial gain.

The suit seeks punitive damages for Snider and people living as far across the Ohio River as Belpre.

A class action suit was also filed last Monday, two days after the fire began.

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