Only temporarily holds off the lawsuits.
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The company blamed for a chemical spill that left 300,000 West Virginia residents without clean water filed for federal bankruptcy protection on Friday.
Freedom Industries, which owns the tank that ruptured Jan. 9 and sent 7,500 gallons of chemicals into the Elk River, has been hit by a slew of lawsuits and a federal investigation in the week since the incident, according to news reports.
Residents of nine counties were told by state officials not to use water for any purpose except flushing toilets as they cleaned up the mess, which forced businesses to close. Water restrictions have since been lifted for all residents, but officials suggest that pregnant women avoid drinking the water.
The company, whose parent firm is Chemstream Holdings Inc. of Pennsylvania, filed for Chapter 11 protection, which will temporarily halt any lawsuits against Freedom.