Jim Leach Announces Investigation and Class Action Lawsuit in Catastrophic IEI Plastics Fire

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IEI Plastics Fire 411 Blog Series: Brought to you by Jim Leach L.C. & Liddle & Dubin, P.C.

Local Attorney Jim Leach of Jim Leach, LC is announcing an investigation and class action lawsuit against those responsible for the catastrophic IEI Plastics Fire at the former Ames plant.

What Happens Next?

Many of us are concerned with the many complicated issues that the IEI fire has raised for our community. Unfortunately, at this time, the media, state officials, and the property owner of the IEI facility have left us with more questions than answers. The following are questions common to all of us:

  • Can I take measures to protect myself and my family from harm?
  • What are the environmental impacts for our air and our water?
  • Will the state and federal government provide assistance with the clean up?
  • Who is ultimately responsible for this catastrophe?
  • Am I able to recover for personal and property damages?

Regardless of what toxins may be contained in the smoke from the fire, the Camden Clark Medical Center stated the particulate matter can cause respiratory including shortness of breath, difficulty breathing,  throat irritation, and worsening of pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma or COPD, especially for young children and the elderly. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, you may be entitled to damages.

The Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department has recommended that everyone avoid contact with the smoke or odors and remain indoors if possible with windows and doors closed until the smell is no longer detectable. You should avoid running air conditioners and heaters that may pull air in from outside if possible. It is also advisable to change your air filters before running them again, and periodically until the smoke and or residual odors have left your area.

IEI Plastics Fire Aftermath - Parkersburg, WV

We are glad to report that the fire is now out. The Wood County Commission has done a great job to recruit and coordinate the first responders, who have worked tirelessly to get the blaze under control. We appreciate their efforts and want to acknowledge and thank each of the following:

Fire departments responding from Jackson, Ritchie, Pleasants, Wirt, Washington and Wood counties were Lubeck, Parkersburg, Blennerhassett, Washington Bottom, Mineral Wells, Waverly, Vienna, Williamstown, Eastwood, Pond Creek, Pond Creek, Little Hocking, Marietta, Ravenswood, Ripley, Pennsboro, St. Marys, Belmont, Elizabeth and Belpre.
Also responding were the American Red Cross, the Department of Highways, Parkersburg Police, Wood County Sheriff’s Office, Camden Clark Ambulance, St Joseph Ambulance, Wood County Health Department, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, Wood County Emergency Management, West Virginia Emergency Management and E911.

We are also examining the environmental impact in our area. We are interested in how our local, state, and federal officials will deploy their resources to contain the incident and prevent further harm to our citizens. The contents of the warehouse at the time of the fire remain unknown, although we do know the products that IEI advertised for sale on their website.

According to IEI’s website, the company’s current offerings included:

  • Plastics: Nylon 66, Nylon 6, Polyester, Polycarbonate, PBT, PMMA, Polypropylene, Polyethylene, Elastomer, ABS, PCABS;
  • Films: Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Nylon/PE, Polyester, Multilayer Film, Coated Film;
  • Additives: Impact Modifier, Glass Fiber, Minerals, Carbon Black, Plasticizer; and
  • Adhesives: Hot Melt, and Pressure Sensitive.

Again, it is still not known which of these plastic materials were actually stored in the former Ames plant location. As more information is released, we will better know how to advise on the cleanup effort for the site location as well as for individual homes and businesses.

IEI Plastics Fire - Parkersburg, WV - October 21, 2017

If you have been affected by the fire, you’ll want to consider the credentials of the attorneys who are evaluating the litigation aspects resulting from this tragedy for our community.

Jim Leach has been practicing law since 1995. In 2015, Mr. Leach returned to WVU College of Law and completed Masters in Energy & Sustainable Development in 2016. Mr. Leach has practical experience in dealing with state environmental regulatory authorities including the WVDEP to assess environmental hazards and enact voluntary remediation programs; elected to Vienna City Council and has spearheaded project to remediate Johns Manville site, giving him in-depth and practical experience with environmental hazards.

Mr. Leach is partnering with Detroit-based Liddle & Dubin, P.C., a firm that focuses on class action litigation surrounding environmental impacts who will assist with the complexity of this tragedy for local residents. They have represented tens of thousands of individuals in class actions involving a variety of environmental contamination — including air pollution, noxious odors, fugitive dust, and sewage backup or flooding.

Our legal team will confidently pursue those responsible for the IEI Plastics Fire and will quickly inform the community of any relief that may be available. Part of protecting yourself includes deciding who to team up with in pursuit of legal relief for victims of the IEI Plastics Fire. If you have been impacted by the IEI Fire, we encourage you to contact Mr. Leach to learn more about legal relief that may be available to you.

Please visit https://jrleach.com/ames-fire/, to fill out the IEI Plastics Fire Surveyconcerning your exposure to the fire that will assist us in our investigation. Our legal team is available for free consultations as we assess the situation and your legal rights. For more information, or to contacts us for a consultation, please visit jimleachlaw.com. You may also follow our IEI Plastics Fire 411 Blog” for updates and information surrounding the investigation.”