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West Virginia's Legal Journal

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    FullerMADISON – A Hattiesburg, Miss., law firm details 12 counts in a wrongful death suit against Advocate, Inc., and others and is seeking jury trial in Boone Circuit Court. Michael J. Fuller Jr., of McHugh Fuller Law Group, PLLC, filed … Read More »

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    MADISON – A routine road patrol stop developed information about crack cocaine trafficking, according to court records. Last August, State Trooper G.S. Walter, II, observed a small pickup truck traveling north on US 119 near Low Gap Road that had … Read More »

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  • 12/21/12--02:56: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • Oct. 10 Ronald D. Nelson, on behalf of Helen Dillon, an Adult, seeking approval of a certain Special Supplemental Needs Trust PA- Larry L. Rowe; J- William S. Thompson * Nelson filed petition on behalf of his sister, who sought … Read More »

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    MADISON – A personal injury suit in Boone Circuit Court claims an unsupported roof in an Elk Run Coal Co. mine cause Clyde P. Holsten to lose his leg. Attorneys of Ranson Law Offices in Charleston brought Holsten’s suit Jan. … Read More »

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  • 01/25/13--03:00: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • Dec. 6 Earl F. and Dianna E. Waddell vs. Performance Coal Co.; Alpha Natural Resources, Inc.; Alpha Appalachia Services, Inc.; Alpha Appalachia Holdings, Inc.; Alpha Natural Resources Services, LLC; Consolidation Coal Co.; Mountain Energy, LLC; Mountain Edge Mining, Inc.; Lightening … Read More »

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    MADISON – A Boone County couple are alleging they were harmed by people paid to help them. The Boone County Ambulance Authority is named as a co-defendant in a personal injury suit filed by Oleta Ruth and Darrell Spurlock. In … Read More »

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    MADISON – A Vietnamese woman is seeking injunctive relief enjoining the sale of Danville Nail & Spa. Plaintiff Arlene Pham is a native of Vietnam and family in California. Complaint represents that she married Ut Ngoc, also Vietnamese, in May … Read More »

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  • 02/08/13--02:30: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • Jan. 22 Harvey Trucking, Inc. vs. CSX Transportation, Inc., and John Doe, an unidentified driver PA- Daniel R. Schuda; J- William S. Thompson *The plaintiff seeks a jury award to compensate it for damages to its loaded coal truck from … Read More »

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  • 02/26/13--10:59: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • Feb. 7 Grove Jerace vs. Brody Mining, LLC and Newhall Contracting, Inc. PA- Pamela A. Lambert; J- William S. Thompson * Logan County resident’s personal injury suit alleges he was working keeping the continuous miner cable out of the way … Read More »

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    MADISON – Bryan Angel contends he was wrongfully discharged from his coal mining job because of his disability status. Charleston attorneys David Grubb and Kristina Thomas Whiteaker filed Angel’s suit Feb. 1 in Boone County Circuit Court seeking jury trial. … Read More »

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  • 03/12/13--07:43: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • Feb. 14 Milton and Darlene Kincaid vs. Mine Safety Appliances Co.; Persinger Supply Co.; Raleigh Mine and Industrial Supply, Inc.; and Eastern States Mine Supply Co. PA- G. Todd Houck; J- William S. Thompson * A coal miner for 35 … Read More »

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    MADISON – A defense verdict was reached recently in a lawsuit against Frontier West Virginia Inc. in which a former employee was claiming he was wrongfully terminated from his employment. Frontier Communications Corporate Services Inc., Frontier Communications ILEC Holdings Inc., … Read More »

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    CHARLESTON – Ally Financial and West Asset Management have won summary judgment in a class action lawsuit brought by the wife of a Boone County man who shot himself after a standoff with police. On May 2, U.S. District Judge … Read More »

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    MADISON – A lawsuit against Unum Life Insurance Company of America alleging it denied a claim for accidental death benefits has been dismissed.

    The Dismissal Order was filed Oct. 7, 2011. Katie Hall claimed the matter had been fully compromised and settled.

    Katie Hall claimed she was the primary beneficiary of proceeds payable from the accidental death of Brian Keith Hall under Patriot Coal’s plan insured by Unum, according to a complaint filed July 27, 2011, in Boone Circuit Court.

    Brian Hall died September 2010 in an accident and Katie Hall said her claim was denied by Unum in November 2010, she said.

    Her appeals were refused in February and May of 2011, she claimed.

    Katie Hall was seeking recovery of all benefits under terms of the plan as well as pre-judgment interest, court costs and other relief. She was represented by John J. Polak and Matthew M. Hatfield of Hatfield & Hatfield PLLC.

    The case was assigned to Circuit Judge William S. Thompson.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 11-C-154


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    MADISON – A lawsuit involving a former Patriot Coal Corporation employee who was allegedly injured while working at the Coalburg No. 1 Mine was settled and dismissed last year.

    Douglas M. Epling and Mountain Edge Mining were also named as defendants in the suit.

    Timothy Bevel and the defendants came to the court and jointly announced all matters and differences between the parties have been fully settled, compromised and adjusted, according to a Final Dismissal Order filed July 12 in Boone Circuit Court.

    Bevel claimed he was instructed “to stand at an elevated height on top of the canopy of a moving hauler along with a co-worker to hammer and tighten rollers into place using a sledge hammer and hand tools while within close proximity to each other, and without the use of any fall protection,” according to a complaint filed May 6, 2011, in Boone Circuit Court.

    The defendant’s instruction resulted in Bevel being “struck in the head with the coworker’s sledge hammer,” according to the suit.

    Bevel claimed he fell to the ground unconscious and it took approximately 45 minutes to evacuate him by flight to intensive care in a Charleston hospital.

    Bevel had serious head and neck injuries that included skull fracture and traumatic brain injury, according to the suit.

    Bevel was seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He was represented by Robert B. Warner and Lynnette Simon Marshall of Warner Law Offices PLLC.

    Mountain Edge Mining was represented by Christopher A. Brumley and Eric T. Frye of Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC. Patriot Coal Corporation was represented by Justin C. Taylor of Bailey & Wyant PLLC.

    The case was assigned to Circuit Judge William S. Thompson.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 11-C-94


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    MADISON – A Second Amended Notice of Mediation has been filed in a lawsuit against Independence Coal Co. Inc. and Massey Energy Co.

    By agreement of the parties, mediation of the matter has been reschedules to take place July 31 beginning at 10 a.m. at Ranson Law Offices. James D. Lamp will serve as the mediator, according to a notice filed June 13 in Boone Circuit Court.

    Benjamin L. Mullens claimed the defendants exposed him to unsafe conditions while working in a coal feeder dump truck “under a rock wall without shield protection,” which is in violation of state or federal safety regulations, according to a complaint filed June 28, 2011, in Boone Circuit Court.

    Mullens claimed rocks from above broke loose in June 2009 while he was doing his job and caused serious head and facial injuries that required expenditures of large sums of money for medical and hospital treatment, both past and future.

    At the time of the incident, Mullens was doing contract work for Massey Energy, owner of the property mined by Independence Coal, according to the suit.

    Mullens is seeking jury judgment jointly and severally to set compensatory damages and award court costs, attorney fees and any other relief the court finds equitable. He is being represented by J. Michael Ranson, Cynthia M. Ranson, George B. Morrone III of Ranson Law Offices; and G. Patrick Jacobs of Jacobs Law Office.

    The defendants are represented by Christopher D. Pence of Hardy Pence PLLC.

    The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge William S. Thompson.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 11-C-114


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    McGraw

    McGraw

    MADISON – Rite Aid of West Virginia has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in a lawsuit brought by former Attorney General Darrell McGraw.

    Rite Aid’s Motion for Summary Judgment and in Opposition to McGraw’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment or in the Alternative for a Continued Stay was filed Jan. 10 in Boone Circuit Court.

    McGraw filed the suit on July 23, 2009, claiming Rite Aid committed violations of state law governing generic drug pricing and the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act.

    The lawsuit was remanded back to state court after U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver decided it was not a federal issue.

    McGraw claimed in the complaint that Rite Aid did not pass savings on generic prescription drugs on to consumers.

    The lawsuit is now under the control of new Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

    McGraw hired private lawyers to represent the State. They are: Brian A. Glasser, John W. Barrett and Michael L. Murphy of Bailey & Glasser LLP; and Joshua I. Barrett and Sean P. McGinley of DiTrapano, Barrett & DiPiero LLC.

    Rite Aid was represented by Webster J. Arceneaux III of Lewis, Glasser, Casey & Rollins PLLC; and Todd A. Hollerman and Robert L. DeJong of Miller, Canfiled, Paddock & Stone.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 09-C-217


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    MADISON – A lawsuit against Massey Energy Company regarding the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster was settled and dismissed from Boone Circuit Court in October.

    AT Massey Coal Co.; Massey Coal Sales Company; Massey Coal Services Inc.; Don Blankenship; and Performance Coal Company were also named as defendants in the suit.

    On Oct. 9, both parties came and represented to the Court that the matter in dispute between them had been compromised and settled, according to the dismissal order.

    Scott Durwin Halstead was working in Boone County as an employee of Performance Coal Co. when the April 2010 underground explosion occurred at Upper Big Branch Mine, according to a complaint filed Dec. 16, 2011 in Boone Circuit Court.

    Halstead claimed the defendants’ “negligent, intentional and reckless conduct…” caused the explosion resulting in 29 fatalities, with safety statutes and regulations violated.

    Halstead was completing his shift when the explosion happened and he suffered permanent physical and emotional injuries, including brain injuries, according to the suit.

    Halstead and his wife, Leota Cook, were seeking for jury judgment for an amount that would adequately and fairly compensate him and his wife, plus pre- and post-judgment interests, litigation expenses, and such other relief Court deems appropriate, including punitive damages. They were represented by Anthony J. Sparacino.

    The case was assigned to Circuit Judge William S. Thompson

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 11-C-232


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    MADISON – A lawsuit involving an hourly miner operator who was injured during the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion was settled and dismissed last year.

    AT Massey Coal Co. Inc.; Massey Coal Services Inc.; Massey Coal Sales Co.; Elk Run Coal Co.; Don Blankenship; Gary Frampton; Chris Blanchard; and Jason Whitehead were also named as defendants in the suit.

    On June 18, 2012, both parties represented to the Court that the matter in dispute between them had been compromised and settled, according to the dismissal order.

    Danny Joe Ferrell worked as an hourly miner operator employed by Performance Coal at the Upper Big Branch Mine location in Boone County, according to a complaint filed Oct. 31, 2011.

    Ferrell was riding a mantrip with co-workers when there was a violent underground explosion April 5, 2010.

    The mantrip was blown backward and he was shaken, rocked and thrown about, suffering serious permanent physical and mental injuries, according to the suit.

    Ferrell and his wife, Barbara K. Ferrell, were seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They were being represented by Harry M. Hatfield.

    The defendants were represented by A.L. Emch, Gretchen M. Callas and Ryan Voelker of Jackson Kelley PLLC.

    The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge William S. Thompson.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 11-C-219


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    MADISON – A lawsuit involving a contract worker who was injured during the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion has been settled and dismissed.

    Alpha Appalachia Holdings Inc., formerly known as Massey Energy Company; Alpha Appalachia Services Inc., formerly known as Performance Coal Company; James B. Crawford; Robert H. Fogelsong; Richard M. Gabrys; Bobby R. Inman; Dan R. Moore; and Stanley Suboleski were named as defendants in the suit.

    On Oct. 9, both parties represented to the Court that the matter in dispute between them had been compromised and settled, according to the dismissal order.

    Jason M. Stanley was a contract worker injured at the Upper Big Branch Mine underground explosion on April 5, 2010, according to a complaint filed Oct. 18, 2011, in Boone Circuit Court.

    “As a direct and proximate result of their illegal and unlawful conduct, defendants are liable to Jason Stanley for his personal injuries and pain and suffering and mental anguish and distress,” according to the suit.

    Stanley was seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He was represented by J. Michael Ranson and Cynthia M. Ranson of Ranson Law Office and G. Patrick Jacobs of Jacobs Law Office.

    The defendants were represented by A.L. Emch and Gretchen M. Callas of Jackson Kelly PLLC.

    The case was assigned to Circuit Judge William S. Thompson.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 11-C-210


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