Stuart Calwell, one of the founding members of Calwell Luce diTrapano PLLC, has been appointed interim class counsel in Charleston’s high-profile water contamination lawsuit.

 In March, multiple class action lawsuits pertaining to water contamination in the city were filed against several defendants, including American Water Works Company, Chemstream, Eastman Chemical Company, J. Clifford Forrest, Freedom Industries, West Virginia Water Company, Mountaineer Funding and WV Funding. At the end of the month, a motion was filed to consolidate all the related cases and appoint an interim lead counsel to represent the plaintiffs. The court made the decision to appoint attorney Stuart Calwell, who focuses on environmental contamination issues, as the class counsel.

 One of the defendants, Freedom Industries, produces specialty chemicals for the steel, mining and cement industries. On January 9, a leak occurred in one of the company’s storage tanks at its Charleston location. The tank contained a chemical used in the coal preparation process, which leaked into the city’s water supply. As a result, the entire city of Charleston and some surrounding areas were unable to use the water. The situation affected approximately 300,000 residents.

 In appointing the class counsel, the court considered several factors, including the attorney’s previous work, experience in complex litigation and class actions, and knowledge of the applicable law. The court also looked at the resources the attorney would commit to representing the plaintiffs.

 Calwell has nearly 40 years of experience and has been admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court and the state and federal courts in West Virginia and New York. Calwell has worked on many cases involving environmental contamination and also focuses on asbestos litigation, toxic torts, personal injury, labor law and medical malpractice.

 If you live in the Charleston area and are suffering because of environmental contamination issues, speak with a qualified attorney right away to discuss your options for taking legal action.