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West Virginia's Legal Journal

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  • 10/21/11--00:10: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • Sept. 7
    Harry Cantley vs. City of Danville
    PA- Brian L. Ooten; J William S. Thompson
    * Cantley’s personal injury suit claims the City is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk where he tripped and fell in September 2009. Located near the intersection of Fourth Street and Smoot Avenue, he says the sidewalk had a raised portion where pavement from Fourth Street abutted it. Cantley cites injuries that included a broken wrist, two black eyes and facial contusions. He seeks jury awards for medical expenses, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, litigation expenses, pre- and post-judgment interest, punitive damages and any other relief he is entitled to.
    Case number: 11 -C-174

    Sept. 9
    Rex & Sharon Adkins vs. Stephens Auto Center
    PA- pro se; J- William S. Thompson
    * Gordon residents want out of purchase contract for 2008 vehicle, claiming the car had hidden defects caused by a wreck. Case was moved from Magistrate Court and Adkinses elect to have jury trial.
    Case number: 11-C-176

    Sept. 12
    Jonathan R. Jones vs. Elk Run Coal Co., Inc., dba Black Castle Mining Co.
    PA- J. Michael Ranson, Cynthia M. Ranson, G. Patrick Jacobs; J- William S. Thompson
    * Jones says his employer discriminated against him because he filed for worker’s compensation following a work related injury November 30, 2010. He seeks jury awards for loss of future income and employment benefits, compensatory and punitive damages, attorney feel and costs, and such other equitable and legal relief deemed just and proper.
    Case number: 11-C-178

    Sept. 14
    Boone County Public Service District vs. Katheryn D. Cadle, Keith M. Griffith Jr., Gloria Griffith, Marion Butler and Carl Butler
    PA- H. Wyatt Hanna III; J- William S. Thompson
    * PSD filed for Condemnation Petition and Vesting Defeasible Title to obtain temporary and permanent easements through property in Scott Tax District to extend Lick Creek water line. A hearing is set for Dec. 5 to appoint Commissioners to revise deed and tax records.
    Case number: 11-C-179


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  • 10/28/11--00:10: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • Sept. 28
    George & Nioka S. Vance vs. Southern Appalachian Coal Co., Independence Coal Co., Inc.; Spartan Mining Co., and John Doe entities
    PA- Timothy C. Bailey, J. Ryan Stewart; J- William S. Thompson
    * Workplace injury suit says Vance “is suffering from complicated pneumoconiosis as a result of his exposures to silica and coal dust” while working in underground mines operated by Defendants during 1975-2009. Suit will argue at jury trial that Vance’s condition is 100 per cent preventable with proper workplace protections, according to the Center for Disease Control National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH). Vance seeks compensatory damages, jointly and severally, plus interest and punitive damages. Nioka Vance demands jury awards, jointly and severally, for compensatory and punitive damages, plus interest, for loss of consortium.
    Case number: 11-C-186

    Oct. 3
    Charles E. Hill vs. Americredit Financial Services, Inc. & Accounts Receivable Management, Inc.
    PA- Paul W. Roop, II; J- Thompson
    * Complaint says Hill falls under the West Virginia Consumer Credit Protection Act violated by Defendant debt collection companies. Peytona resident retained counsel to represent his interest, but, according to Hill, Defendants contacted him by phone and through the mail after notification to consult his attorney. Claiming intentional and malicious violation of WVCCPA, Hill seeks jury awards totaling no more than $74,999.
    Case number: 11-C-190

    Oct. 5
    Elizabeth S. Smith vs. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. and Eric Paugh
    PA- Brian E. Bigelow, Eric M. Hayhurst; J- Thompson
    * Smith, victim of an October 2009 automobile accident, challenges claims adjuster Paugh’s determination that she gets a $2,000 settlement of underinsured motorist coverage from her State Farm policy. Robert Spock, an underinsured motorist, ran a red light and struck Smith’s car in an intersection near Prosperity. His liability insurance paid the person limit of $20,000. Smith points out her underinsured motor vehicle coverage has a per person limit of $50,000 and medical payments coverage with a limit of $100,000. She alleges her insurance company and its claims adjuster violated State law and wants compensatory and punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, litigation expenses, plus any other relief Court deems just and appropriate.
    Case number: 11-C-193

    Vanderbilt Mortgage & Finance, Inc., as Power of Attorney for The Bank of New York Mellon, as Trustee vs. Tracy S. Bourne & Jennifer A. Pauley
    PA- Marc B. Lazenby; J- Thompson
    * Complaint says Peytona residents defaulted on their July 2002, $33,144 retail installment contract for a mobile home. Plaintiff wants immediate possession of the unit, claiming loan is past due from last March.
    Case number: 11-C-194


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  • 11/10/11--23:00: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • Oct. 7
    Sirena R. Sexton vs. Williams Holdings, LLC dba Williams Transport
    PA- Todd S. Bailess, Joy B. Mega; J- William S. Thompson
    * Sexton says Defendant failed to timely pay her after she was discharged last September, which violates the West Virginia Wage Payment & Collection Act. She seeks jury determination of treble damages, attorney fees and court costs, pre- and post-judgment interests, plus such further relief Court deems just and equitable.
    Case number: 11-C-196

    Oct. 12
    Doug Blevins vs. Independence Coal Co., Inc., Agent Corporation Service Co.
    PA- David Grubb, Kristina Thomas Whiteaker; J- Thompson
    * Blevins alleges wrongful discharge in violation of West Virginia Human Rights Act’s prohibition against disability discrimination. He says further that coal company interfered with the exercise of his rights pursuant to the Family & Medical Leave Act by retaliation. Complaint cites fall of 2009 injury caused by a large rock falling onto the bed of a truck Blevins was operating that severely jarred his back and neck. He missed several work days late in 2009 and throughout 2010-11 for medical treatments. While he was hired in February 2009 as a drill operator, he was assigned to drive a rock truck. After his injury incident, Blevins advised superiors that driving the rock truck aggravated his back and neck pain more than operating a drill and requested truck time be limited to eight hours. But his assignments, he says, continued to be an entire eleven-hour shift. He had a physician’s letter stating his spinal condition should limit truck driving to eight hours. Blevins was informed through company human resources last May that he was discharged for excuses, drill patterns, written-up for being late for work, complaining about driving a truck, and not properly documenting absences. Complaint seeks jury relief relative to a dozen counts that include Defendant violated a substantial public policy and Blevins is entitled to awards of back pay and benefits, employment reinstatement or alternative of front pay, compensatory and punitive damages, litigation costs, pre- and post-judgment interests, and such other relief deemed appropriate.
    Case number: 11-C-199

    Oct. 14
    Blane Barker vs. Mountain Edge Mining, Newhall Contracting, Inc.; Speed Mining LLC, CT Corporation System; Patriot Coal Corp. CT Corporation System; Mark Harper, foreman Dorothy No.3 Mine; David Bess, superintendent Dorothy No. 3 Mine, and Frank Pearson, owner Dorothy No. 3 Mine
    PA- Pamela A. Lambert; J- Thompson
    * Personal injury suit says malfunctioning panic bar on a scoop caused an underground accident Oct. 16, 2009, at Dorothy No. 3 Mine near Prenter resulting in numerous injuries to Barker. He detailed how, while delivering supplies to the mine face, he had “to tram his scoop through a puddle of muddy water in which a crib block was situated.” Barker claims he couldn’t see the crib block, ran over it at a fast speed and was “tossed up into the canopy, striking his head.” The panic bar failure, says Barker, kept the scoop from stopping until he ran into the rib. He claims he reported the panic bar problem “many times” to superiors. He suffered neck, lower back, left knee and shoulder injuries, and lost four front teeth suffering mouth injuries. Barker was terminated in January 2010 and Defendants did not reinstate him to his former position, or inform him of a comparable available position when given a duly written medical release for him. He seeks jury judgment jointly and severally for an amount in excess of Court’s minimum jurisdiction. Also: Past, present and future medical and non-medical damages in an amount to be determined; compensatory and punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interests, litigation expenses, and all other costs and expenses deemed proper and just.
    Case number: 11-C-203


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    MADISON — A former underground foreman at the Upper Big Branch Mine claims he was constructively discharged in February 2010 because he raised safety issues.

    Richard Hutchens complains defendant coal companies’ actions were discriminatory and retaliatory, saying he “consistently performed his duties as a Continuous Miner Section Foreman in a satisfactory manner and met the reasonable expectations …”

    His suit, filed Oct. 14 in Boone Circuit Court by Charleston attorney Mark A. Atkinson and Stephen P. New of Beckley, names Alpha Natural Resources Services, LLC; Performance Coal Co., and Alpha Appalachia Services, Inc. as defendants and seeks jury trial.

    Hutchens says he complained to supervisors on numerous occasions about inadequate ventilation “and was forced to shut down production … to ‘down’ equipment because said equipment was unsafe …” He also mentions complaining that rock dusting was inadequate.

    “In retaliation for raising these safety issues,” Hutchens elaborates, he “was called obscene names in front of his men, and threatened that he would be fired.”

    He wants jury awards for damages relating to lost wages and benefits, back and front pay; indignity, embarrassment and humiliation, and punitive damages in an amount to be determined. Also, he asks for pre-judgment interest, attorney fees and court costs, plus such other relief court deems just and equitable.

    Case is projected for October 2012 trial before Judge William S. Thompson.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 11-C-205


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  • 11/17/11--23:00: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • Oct. 17
    Brian Blevins vs. Independence Coal Co., Inc.; Agent Corporation Service Co.
    PA- David Grubb, Kristina Thomas Whiteaker; J- William S. Thompson
    * Plaintiff began employment with Independence around February 2008 as a rock truck driver. He says sinus condition caused him to miss work in fall 2009 and early 2010, always providing doctor’s excuses. Blevins says he informed supervisor that he would have sinus surgery and need time off for recovery. Late in April 2010 Blevins was given medical release to return to work, but was informed he was being “laid off’ because work was slow. He contends rock truck drivers were hired afterward and he is entitled to jury awards of damages, injunctive relief and other equitable and legal relief pursuant to the West Virginia Human Rights Act, Family & Medical Leave Act, and State common law.
    Case number: 11 -C-206

    David Shields vs. Alpha Appalachia Services, Inc.; Agent Corporation Service Co.; Massey Coal Services, Inc.; Nicholas Energy Co. and Jon Brown
    PA- David Grubb, Kristina Thomas Whiteaker; J- William S. Thompson
    * Citing wrongful discharge, Summersville resident wants jury action for money damages, injunctive and declaratory relief, plus other equitable and legal relief. Shields claims he was fired because he complained about unsafe working conditions and refused to take part in unlawful safety practices. He was employed as an assistant safety director from June 2008 to last February at Nicholas Energy, where Jon Brown was president.
    Case number: 11-C-207

    Oct. 18
    Hope Gas, Inc., d/b/a Dominion Hope vs. Kaleb Halstead
    PA- James W. Turner, Jessica L. Wiley; J- William S. Thompson
    * Gas company wants Halstead to pay $14,194 for damages to a mainline pipe at Racine where he did excavation work, complaining he failed to contact “Miss Utility” pursuant to State law. As a consequence, the company complains, no utilities were marked in the excavation area.
    Case number: 11-C-208

    Oct. 19
    Jason M. Stanley vs. Performance Coal Co. et al
    PA- J. Michael Ranson, Cynthia M. Ranson, G. Patrick Jacobs; J- William S. Thompson
    * Miscellaneous civil suit brought by a contract worker injured April 5, 2010, at the Upper Big Branch Mine underground explosion lists 14 Massey Energy Co. high ranking officials and board members as defendants along with Performance Coal. Jason Stanley worked for David Stanley Consultants at the site where 29 miners were fatally injured. Complaint says “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.” Case projected for jury trial in August, seeks judgment jointly and severally for compensatory and punitive damages, litigation expenses, pre- and post-judgment interest, plus any and all other relief to which the plaintiff is entitled.
    Case number: 11-C-210

    Oct. 21
    Shelby Cook vs. Boone Memorial Hospital, Inc.
    PA- G. Patrick Jacobs; J- William S. Thompson
    * Personal injury suit says Cook was in a wheelchair when hospital employee lost control of it on a steep ramp, where Plaintiff’s hand was injured on a railing. She seeks jury awards of compensatory damages, pre- and post-judgment interest and litigation costs.
    Case number: 11-C-211


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  • 12/08/11--23:00: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • Oct. 28
    Boone County Public Service District, a public utility vs. Robin Sue Bunch Bailey, Kevin Bailey, Diana R. Griffin, Elaine Mae Bunch
    PA- H. Wyatt Hanna III; J- Thompson
    * Court grants Temporary Construction Easements on Defendants’ property near Danville where public utility will extend potable water service. Judge Thompson scheduled hearing Dec. 5 for appointment of Commissioners in accordance with State condemnation law.
    Case number: 11-C-216

    Boone County Public Service District, a public utility vs. Estate of Betty Jean Stewart, deceased
    PA- H. Wyatt Hanna III; J- Thompson
    * Condemnation Petition granted public utility, pursuant to terms and provisions of Chapter 54, Article 2, Section 14a of West Virginia Code allowing temporary construction easements for Lick Creek Water Line Extension through Stewart’s property.
    Case number: 11-C-217

    Oct. 31
    Danny Joe Ferrell & Barbara K. Ferrell vs. Massey Energy Co., AT Massey Coal Co., Inc.; Massey Coal Services, Inc.; Massey Coal Sales Co., Elk Run Coal Co., dba Performance Coal Co., Don Blankenship, Gary Frampton, Chris Blanchard & Jason Whitehead
    PA- Harry M. Hatfield; J- Thompson
    * Lincoln County resident Ferrell worked as an hourly miner operator employed by Performance Coal at the Upper Big Branch Mine location in Boone County. He was riding a mantrip with co-workers when there was a violent underground explosion April 5, 2010. He says the mantrip was blown backward and he was shaken, rocked and thrown about, suffering serious permanent physical and mental injuries. Ferrell and his wife seek jury trial, demanding judgment against defendants, jointly and severally, in an amount to adequately and fairly compensate for their damages. Further, they seek pre- and post-judgment interest, court expenses and attorney’s fees, plus such other relief deemed appropriate and punitive damages against management defendants Blankenship, Frampton, Blanchard and Whitehead, and Massey Energy, AT Massey, Massey Coal Sales and Massey Coal services.
    Case number: 11-C-219


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    MADISON — A former mine shift foreman accuses his superintendent and employer Coal River Energy of repeated harassment and abuse relative to post-traumatic stress disorder he suffered through military service in Vietnam.

    In his complaint filed Nov. 30 in Boone Circuit Court, Denny W. Lester says during some shifts over 18 months at the Fork Creek No. 3 Mine, Superintendent David Cobb banged steel behind him while he filled out pre-shift reports and struck tools against the walls and floor, further aggravating his PTSD.

    “Cobb would also yell and kick things behind Plaintiff to startle him,” complaint says, and there were co-workers who joined in on the harassment.

    Lester mentions that when he went to Logan for a certification class, “Cobb and other co-workers set off firecracker caps … to further aggravate his condition.”

    He complains he went on leave last May because the harassment “caused significant emotional distress …”

    His attorney, Daniel T. Lattanzi of Charleston, presents four causes of action as Intentional Injury, Hostile Work Environment, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, and Wage Payment Violation.

    Lester seeks jury damage awards for loss of wages and benefits, emotional distress and anxiety; humiliation, embarrassment and outrageous conduct punitive damages, and litigation costs.

    Case will be docketed for Judge William S. Thompson in spring.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 11-C-228


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  • 12/22/11--23:05: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • Nov. 23
    William Kirk, a minor by and through his parent and next friend, Bobbie Hague vs. GEICO Insurance Co.
    PA-pro se; J-Thompson
    * Thompson set Jan. 9 to appoint a guardian ad litem for 13-year-old Kirk and approve his personal injury claim. Boy was a passenger in car owned and driven by Samantha Hague last May when an unknown vehicle approached in her lane from the front, causing her to lose control and the vehicle to flip. Kirk was flown to a Charleston hospital and admitted with head injuries for four days. Total medical expenses were $73,766. GEICO, Samantha Hague’s insurer, offered gross settlement of $20,000 and another $20,000 under Bobbie Hague’s uninsured motorist coverage. Charleston attorney Joseph T. Cramer represents GEICO.
    Case number: 11-C-226

    Dec. 1
    Wesley M. Henderson vs. Mountaineer Labor Solutions, LLC; Mountaineer Labor Services, LLC, and Conveying Solutions, LLC
    PA- Guy R. Bucci; J- Thompson
    * Henderson, a Bloomingrose resident, complains unsafe working conditions where a mining conveyor belt winder was operating in Charleston caused his hand to be caught by a moving part in December 2009. Citing “unguarded pinch points, moving parts and entrapment zones,” Henderson says his right arm was fed into the machine until another worker shut it off. He suffered a radial and ulnar shaft fracture and puncture on the dorsum of his radius at the mid-dorsal left forearm level. He seeks past, present, future and punitive damages totaling an amount determined by a jury, plus attorney fees and pre- and post-judgment interest.
    Case number: 11-C-229


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  • 01/05/12--23:00: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • Dec. 8
    In The Interest Of Jordan Scott Messer, An Incapacitated Adult; State of West Virginia; WV Department of Health & Human Resources, Petitioner
    PA- Jennifer L. Anderson, Boone County Asst. Prosecuting Attorney; J- William S. Thompson
    * Messer was previously found as a mentally handicapped “protected person.” Robert L. Messer, his guardian-conservator, died. Court granted Petition to appoint a guardian ad litem for J.S. Messer, appoint DHHR as guardian and Boone Sheriff’s Department as his conservator.
    Case number: 11-C-230

    Dec. 14
    Staci Queen, individually and as Parent, Guardian, and Next Friend of the infant, Maggie Queen vs. Walter G. Martin Jr. and Enterprise Rent-A-Car Co. of Kentucky, LLC
    PA- Greg K. Smith; J- Thompson
    * Staci Queen complains vehicle she was driving, with infant daughter a properly restrained passenger, was unlawfully rear-ended July 2010 on U.S. 119 near Danville by a pick-up truck owned by Enterprise and operated by Martin. She seeks jury awards of compensatory damages for both Plaintiffs, litigation costs, pre- and post-judgment interests, and all other proper relief.
    Case number: 11 -C-231

    Dec. 16
    Scott S. Halstead, Leota Cook, his wife vs. Massey Energy Co.; AT Massey Coal Co.; Massey Coal Sales Co.; Massey Coal Services, Inc.; Don Blankenship; and Performance Coal Co.
    PA- Anthony J. Sparacino; J- Thompson
    * Personal injury suit details that Halstead was working in Boone County as an employee of Performance Coal Co. when April 2010 underground explosion occurred at Upper Big Branch Mine. Complaint says “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 contends he suffered permanent physical and emotional injuries, including brain injuries. He calls for jury judgment for an amount that will 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.
    Case number: 11-C-232

    Tenisia Jarrell vs. James E. Pyne and Elk Run Coal Co., Inc. d/b/a Black Castle Mining Co.
    PA- Anthony J. Sparacino; J- Thompson
    * Involved in a head-on vehicle accident January 2010 on W.Va. Route 305 near Lester in Raleigh County, Jarrell’s personal injury suit claims Pyne was intoxicated when driving the truck that struck her car. Pyne, resident of Uneeda, reportedly was employed by Defendant coal company and operating a vehicle owned and insured by his employer. Jarrell, claiming severe and potentially permanent injuries to body and mind, seeks jury determination of compensatory and punitive damages, awards for pre- and post-judgment interests, costs of litigation and such other relief deemed appropriate.
    Case number: 11-C-233

    John Morrison vs. James E. Pyne and Elk Run Coal Co., Inc. d/b/a Black Castle Mining Co.
    PA- Anthony J. Sparacino; J- Thompson
    * Morrison was a passenger in Tenisia Jarrell’s car during above-described collision involving Defendants. He wants same jury awards detailed in Case number: 11-C-233.
    Case number: 11-C-234


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    MADISON — A longtime West Virginia School Services Personnel Association member wants a Boone Circuit Court jury to require monetary awards because she was wrongfully discharged.

    Charleston attorney Richard W. Walters presented Terri L. Young’s case Dec. 29, naming the association and Robert L. Brown and Jacqueline Long, individually, as defendants.

    Complaint says Young resided in Madison when a controversy came up over her association membership. She says she was employed by the Jefferson County School System more than 20 years. In 2009, Young says she was hired by the association “as a project staff representative” and given a leave of absence from her Jefferson County position. Her pay and benefits still came from Jefferson, with reimbursement from the association, complaint noted.

    She cites her agreement was on a yearly basis beginning July 1, 2009, with last renewal last July 1. Prior to the association’s 2011 annual spring meeting, Young announced she was running for president, a position held by Long.

    Following the May 7 election won by Long, Association Executive Director Brown presented changes to the Personnel Handbook for approval by the Executive Committee. Included, Young says, was the following: “Effective October 1, 2011, any WVSSPA (the Association) member who is employed by WVSSPA as a project staff representative must relinquish his/her membership status …”

    Upon acceptance of the handbook change by the association, Young says she was the only member employed as a staff representative. She was advised by Long and Brown she would have to resign her membership or quit as a staff rep.

    She filed a grievance with WVSSPA last Oct. 1 challenging handbook changes.

    Young says a letter dated Oct. 3 from Brown advised that her grievance would not affect enactment of policy and she should decide by 1 p.m. Oct. 4 about her status. Letter dated Oct. 4 said she was no longer employed by the association in accordance with policy.

    Complaint claims violation of public policy relative to the State Labor-Management Relations Act and her employment agreement, among other things.

    Young wants compensatory and punitive damages, lost wages and benefits, litigation costs, pre-judgment interest, and such further relief jury finds appropriate.

    Billie Jo Streyle, a Charleston attorney, filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint, elaborating, among other points, that Boone Circuit Court is improper venue because neither individual defendant resides in Boone County, WVSSPA’s principal office is in Kanawha City, and Personnel Handbook amendments were adopted by vote in Logan County.

    Case is docketed for May before Judge William S. Thompson.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 11-C-240


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    MADISON — A medical malpractice suit targets Boone Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Danville.

    Attorney Michael T. Collis, representing Michael R. Barker of Pittsburgh, filed a six-count complaint Dec. 23 in Boone Circuit Court resulting from an admission of less than two months in the skilled nursing facility for now deceased Russell F. Barker. M.R. Barker was appointed administrator of the estate of Russell Barker, who died May 1, 2010.

    The Pittsburgh man had been in the Danville nursing home from late January through March 1, 2010. Collis is with the Wilkes-McHugh law firm in Pittsburgh.

    Suit cites violation of West Virginia Code§ 16-5C-1 et. seq. pursuant to the Survival Act in demanding a jury trial. Count M charges Defendants’ negligence, because Barker’s care and safety needs were not properly managed and performed by a medical care provider.

    Named defendants, other than the nursing facility also known as Boone Healthcare Center, are Sterling Health Care Management, Inc.; Advocate, Inc.; Diversified Management Services Co., and Diversified Leasing Corp., all of Brentwood, Tenn. Suit says they “were the business entities and/or individuals which owned, controlled, managed, supervised, operated and/or otherwise oversaw the Facility, and/or the property.. .and/or its assets.”

    Trial is projected for next December before Judge William S. Thomson.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 11-C-236


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  • 02/09/12--23:00: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • Dec. 29
    Jason Spaulding vs. Elk Run Coal Co., Inc. d/b/a Black Castle Mine Development Co.; and Elite Coal Services, LLC
    PA- Lia DiTrapano Fairless; J- William S. Thompson
    * Spaulding began full time employment as a truck driver last July 4 with Black Castle and was terminated last August 15. He was allowed a temporary leave of absence required by his medical advisor, according to complaint, but when released to return to work learned he was terminated in violation of provisions of Wes Virginia Human Rights Act. Spaulding demands jury trial seeking compensatory and punitive damages, front and back pay, pre- and post-judgment interest, reinstatement, court expenses and further relief deemed appropriate.
    Case number: 11-C-241

    Bernie and Kathy Ferrell vs. Mine Safety Appliances Co., Inc.; Persinger Supply Co.; Raleigh Mine and Industrial Supply Co.; and Eastern States Mine Supply Co.
    PA- G. Todd Houck; J- William S. Thompson
    * Product liability suit claims Bernie Ferrell developed so-called “black lung” disease while working 30 years as a coal miner because of hidden defects and inadequate warnings with respirators he used manufactured by MSA and distributed and supplied by the three other defendants in Boone County. Ferrells seek jury judgment, jointly and severally, for compensatory damages, punitive damages against only MSA, litigation costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other entitled relief.
    Case number: 11-C-242

    Lawrence Miller vs. Mine Safety Appliances Co., Inc. et al
    PA- G. Todd Houck; J- William S. Thompson
    * Product liability suit styled similar to Case 11-C-242 above seeking jury awards relative to faulty respirator product leading to black lung disease suffered by the coal miner of 25 years.
    Case number: 11-C-243

    Sherman and Martha Ball vs. Mine Safety Appliances Co., Inc. et al
    PA- G. Todd Houck; J- William S. Thompson
    * Product liability suit styled similar to above Cases 242 and 243. S. Ball worked 23 years as a coal miner.
    Case number: 11-C-244

    Lester and Alice Ferrell vs. Mine Safety Appliances Co., Inc. et al
    PA- G. Todd Houck; J- William S. Thompson
    * Peytona couple seeks jury awards in produce liability complaint styled similar to above three cases. Lester worked 23 years in mines. Wives claim “loss of consortium” in these proceedings.
    Case number: 11-C-245

    Dec. 30
    Erie Insurance Property and Casualty Co. vs. Nicholas R. Schultz Sr. and Amy L. Schultz
    PA- Brian D. Morrison, Jordan K. Herrick; J- William S. Thompson
    * Erie seeks jury judgment against the Danville residents for $20,138 with Interest at the legal rate, plus court costs and such other just and proper relief. Subrogation case stems from February 2011 rear-end collision on Route 85 at Uneeda, where Amy Schultz was blamed for following too closely the pick-up driven by Brian E. Holeston of Morrisvale. Nicholas Schultz owned the car that struck Holeston and it was noted his liability insurance had lapsed. Erie insured the pick-up with damage amounting to more than $16,000. Holeston’s medical expenses brought $3,000 coverage by Erie and recovery of a deductible for underinsured motorist property damage.
    Case number: 11 -C-247


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  • 03/01/12--23:05: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • Jan. 6
    Vanderbilt Mortgage & Finance, Inc. vs. Lorena Hicks, Debra Workman and John Doe
    PA- Robert L. Bandy; J- William S Thompson
    * Finance firm says Hicks defaulted her December 2002, $55,437 Manufactured Home Retail Installment Contract with Oakwood Mobile Homes, Inc. (dba Freedom Homes), which granted a security interest. Plaintiff wants immediate possession of the unit located at Gordon, with assistance of Boone County Sheriff removing residents Workman and John Doe.
    Case number: 12-C-1

    National Collegiate Master Student Loan Trust vs. Jessica D. Vance, aka Jessica D. Torres & Jessica D. Vance-Torres
    PA- Andrew N. Frye III; J- Thompson
    * Plaintiff cites Promissory Note executed August 2002 with Wharton woman and seeks judgment for more than $10,000 owed.
    Case number: 12-C-2

    Jan. 9
    Vanderbilt Mortgage & Finance, Inc. vs. Bethel L. Malcomb
    PA- Marc B. Lazenby; J- Thompson
    * Vanderbilt wants to repossess a mobile home at Danville, saying Malcomb defaulted on her June 2001 retail installment contract loan of $23,352.
    Case number: 12-C-3

    Jan. 10
    Vanderbilt Mortgage & Finance, Inc. vs. Justin M. Tramontano
    PA- Robert L. Bandy; J- Thompson
    * Complaint says Seth man owes $19,721, with accruing interest, on his June 2010 Manufactured Home Retail Installment Contract of $50,172. Tramontano has failed to make payments and Vanderbilt seeks immediate possession of the Fleetwood unit.
    Case number: 12-C-4

    Jan. 13
    Mark & Teresa McNeely vs. Mine Safety Appliances Co., Inc.; Persinger Supply Co., Raleigh Mine & Industrial Supply Co., Eastern States Mine Supply Co.
    PA- G. Todd Houck; J Thompson
    * A 30-year coal miner residing at Peach Creek, McNeely claims respirators manufactured by MSA “leaked substantial amounts of harmful dust into his breathing zone,” which led to “black lung” disease. His product liability suit says the other defendants distributed, supplied and sold MSA respirators which had hidden defects. Wife Teresa charges, “Loss of Consortium” resulting from McNeely’s condition. Couple demands jury judgment, jointly and severally, for compensatory damages, punitive damages against only MSA, litigation costs, pre- and post-judgment interest, and all further relief to which they’re entitled.
    Case number: 12-C-6


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  • 03/16/12--00:00: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • Jan. 17
    Petition of Bernadine Cook, Guardian of Tyler Carter, an Infant, Seeking Permission of the Court To Compromise and Settle Claim of Personal Injury
    PA- R. Ford Francis; J- William S. Thompson
    * Vehicle collision in February 2011 on W.Va. 85 near Uneeda resulted in 10-year-old Tyler Carter getting hospital emergency room medical attention and released without admission. He was a backseat passenger in a vehicle driven by Chester Cook, husband of Petitioner Bernadine, who was a front seat rider. Uninsured driver Christopher Hager was blamed for the accident. Cooks have insurance which covers outstanding medical bills and offers an additional $2,500.
    Case number: 12-C-8

    Jan. 23
    Matthew A. Montali vs. Frontier West Virginia, Inc.; Frontier Communications Corp. Services, Inc.; Frontier Communications ILEC Holdings, Inc., and Dempsey Dickson, Individually
    PA- Mark A. Atkinson; J- Thompson
    * Kanawha City resident, employed by Frontier some 14 months, complains he was unlawfully discharged in retaliation because of attempt to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Montali contends employer and his supervisor Dickson based discharge on his disability and/or perceived disability in violation of State Human Rights Act. He seeks jury judgment for compensatory and punitive damages, pre-judgment interest, court costs and further just and equitable relief.
    Case number: 12-C-11

    Discover Bank vs. Linna J. and Claude West
    PA- Ryan S. Marsteller; J- Thompson
    * Bank charges Whitesville couple with Breach of Contract and Unjust Enrichment, saying they owe more than $18,000 on Discover Card transactions. Discover also wants pre- and post-judgment interest, plus court costs.
    Case number: 12-C-14


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    MADISON — A mine company claims a former employee carried a handgun onto its property and took unauthorized materials.

    Charleston attorney Jonathan L. Anderson presented the complaint of Rhino Eastern LLC on Jan. 31. Wharton resident James T. Foster was an electrician on the midnight shift at the Eagle No. 1 underground mine located in Raleigh County.

    Foster was directed not to report for work Jan. 26 due to issues relative to job performance, according to the complaint, and to instead be at the mine office the following morning. Defendant showed up at mine site the night of Jan. 26, according to complaint and appeared upset. He was taken from the bathhouse to an office by electrician Lenox Profitt, who reportedly noticed Foster was carrying a handgun.

    “Company policy prohibits employees from bringing firearms onto company property,” the complaint notes.

    Profitt told Foster to leave the mine site and return in the morning to the main office. Before Profitt went underground, complaint continues, Foster returned. According to complaint, Foster had taken two damaged breakers from the mine shop and a record book required by law pertaining to weekly examinations in the work place.

    The coal company asks Judge William S. Thompson to enjoin and restrain Foster from “continued unlawful conduct with respect to the plaintiffs property,” from attempting to enter company property, award compensatory damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, and litigation expenses.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 12-C-16


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  • 03/23/12--00:05: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • Jan. 25
    Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc., Power of Attorney for Conseco Finance Servicing Corp. vs. Perry R. Osborne II
    PA- Marc B. Lazenby; J- William S. Thompson
    * Complaint says Osborne defaulted on his Manufactured Home Retail Installment Contract and Security Agreement dated July 2002 for $24,107 and seeks repossession of unit.
    Case number: 12-C-15

    Feb. 13
    Government Employees Insurance Co., as Subrogee of Randy E. Conley vs. Kenneth L. Smith and Teresa Dearfield
    PA- Andrew N. Frye III; J- Thompson
    * Insurance company seeks damages, jointly and severally, of $10,782 with statutory interest, plus court costs. Plaintiff says Smith operated vehicle owned by Dearfield in negligent manner causing April 2011 accident at Ashford and damages to Conley’s property. Complaint says Dearfield “wrongfully and/or negligently entrusted the motor vehicle to an incompetent and uninsured driver …”
    Case number: 12-C-27

    Feb. 14
    Gary Mullins vs. Patriot Coal Corp. and B & M Repair, Inc.
    PA- Frank Venezia, Brian L. Ooten; J- Thompson
    * Mullins was employed by B & M, whose largest customer is Patriot Coal. B & M repairs and sells industrial pumps used in mines. Over the years, Mullins filed complaints against Patriot and subsidiary Apogee Coal Co. accusing them of damaging his water supply, causing excessive dust and structural damage to his Yolyn residence in Logan County. Mullins relates he requested an informal conference May 2011 with West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection “to discuss a permit renewal application filed by Apogee.” Following that request, Mullins complains the vice president of B & M advised him he was terminated “because of his ongoing dispute with Patriot Coal,” and he “believes that defendant Patriot informed B & M that, if it refused (his firing), B & M would lose defendant Patriot’s business.” Mullins alleges “unlawful civil conspiracy” in retaliation for his participation in promoting public environmental policy. He seeks jury awards of compensatory, punitive and general damages, lost wages and benefits, pre-judgment interest on all amounts claimed, litigation expenses and such further relief deemed appropriate.
    Case number: 12-C-29

    Feb. 16
    Mike & Connie Albright vs. Christopher Riffe
    PA- Timothy R. Conaway; J- Thompson
    * Albrights own property on Six Mile Road they say had to be accessed by a bridge. They accuse Riffe of recklessly and negligently driving a vehicle into that bridge and destroying it, and want jury award of damages in an amount established by the trier of facts, plus litigation costs.
    Case number: 12-C-30

    Kenneth & Rose Craddock vs. Mine Safety Appliances Co., Inc.; Persinger Supply Co., Raleigh Mine & Industrial Supply, Inc., and Eastern States Mine Supply Co.
    PA- G.Todd Houck; J- Thompson
    * Defendants manufactured and marketed “defective and unsafe respirators” Craddock used during his 31 years as a coal miner, which caused him to develop so-called black lung disease. “The MSA respirators used by Mr. Craddock leaked substantial amounts of harmful dust into his breathing zone,” according to complaint. Craddocks demand jury trial and judgments, jointly and severally, for compensatory damages, punitive damages against MSA only, costs of litigation, pre- and post-judgment interest and all further relief they’re entitled to. Mrs. Craddock asserts loss of consortium.
    Case number: 12-C-31

    Feb. 24
    Key Equipment Finance Corp. vs. Ira W. Rash fdba Acme-Ventures Co., LLC
    PA- Paul S. Atkins; J- Thompson
    * Chicago area finance firm wants to collect more than $56,000 it says Peytona company owes on a loan and security agreement for $99,625 dated in January 2009 to purchase a 2007 model Kenworth Tractor.
    Case number: 12-C-36

    Feb. 29
    Roger & Linda Barker vs. Xinergy of West Virginia, Inc.; JMP Coal Holdings, LLC; Raven Crest Mining, LLC; Raven Crest Contracting, LLC; Steven R. Mullins Excavating, Inc.; Virginia Explosives & Drilling Co., Inc., and Virginia Drilling Co., LLC
    PA- John H. Skaggs, G. Patrick Jacobs; J- Thompson
    * Barkers seek jury judgment in an amount to be determined and other compensation, saying defendants are liable for damages to their Cost residence resulting from bedrock blasting started in June 2007 in their area and continuing in the mining of coal. They want pre- and post-judgment interest, court expenses and further relief deemed proper.
    Case number: 12-C-39

    Ira Steele vs. Xinergy of West Virginia, Inc. et al
    PA- Skaggs, Jacobs; J- Thompson
    * Complaint styled same as 12-C-39 above involving Steele’s property on Peytona-Costa Road.
    Case number: 12-C-40

    Debra A. Barker vs. Xinergy of West Virginia, Inc. et al
    PA- Skaggs, Jacobs; J- Thompson
    * Resident of Costa brings complaint styled same as above two cases.
    Case number: 12-C-41


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  • 04/06/12--00:00: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • March 7
    Michael Akers vs. P & H Mining Equipment, Inc.; Joy Global, Inc.; Michael James and Edgar Johnson
    PA- Matthew M. Hatfield; J- William S. Thompson
    * Four-month employee as electrician at Black Castle surface mine claims he was discharged based on his disability and/or perceived disability related to illnesses in violation of the West Virginia Human Rights Act. Hewett resident seeks jury awards of lost wages and benefits, back and front pay; damages for indignity, embarrassment, humiliation and emotional distress, punitive damages, prejudgment interest, attorney fees and costs, and such other relief deemed just and equitable.
    Case number: 12-C-47

    Granvel Boggs Jr. vs. Spartan Mining Co. dba Trace Transport Co., Elk Run Coal Co., Inc.; Alpha Natural Resources Services, LLC, and Alpha Natural Resources, Inc.
    PA- Matthew M. Hatfield; J- William S. Thompson
    * Boggs, of Nellis, says he worked as a coal truck driver at the Black Castle surface mine from February 2010 to September 2011 before “defendants willfully, maliciously and unlawfully terminated his employment.” Discharge, says Boggs, was based “in whole or in part” on his disability and/or perceived disability relative to cardiovascular medical treatment and other physical impairments. He wants jury judgment for lost wages and benefits, back and front pay; damages for indignity, embarrassment, humiliation and emotional distress; punitive damages, pre-judgment interest, court costs and such further relief ruled just and equitable.
    Case number: 12-C-46

    Gary Holstein Jr. vs. Independence Coal Co., Inc.; Alpha Natural Resources Services, LLS, and Alpha Natural Resources
    PA- Matthew M. Hatfield; J- William S. Thompson
    * Danville man was coal truck and rock truck driver employed at surface mining projects known as Black Castle and Progress from February 2010 until September 2011, when “willfully, maliciously and unlawfully terminated …” Holstein says, with basis for his discharge “whole or in part, plaintiff’s disability and/or perceived disability …” He seeks jury awards for damages detailed in complaint for such as lost wages, benefits, back and front pay, indignity, emotional distress; punitive damage amount to be determined, pre-judgment interest, litigation expenses, plus just and equitable further relief.
    Case number: 12-C-48

    Discover Bank vs. Tavia L. Thuener
    PA- Ryan S. Marsteller; J- William S. Thompson
    * Bank seeks to collect more than $12,136 on a Discover Card balance from February 2011, plus pre-and-post-judgment interest and court costs.
    Case number: 12-C-49

    Stephen J. Chandler vs. Angie Jones, Laura Dotson & Jackie Kirk
    PA- pro se; J- William S. Thompson
    * Complaint says “Jones has broken several obligations on the contract and I want her removed,” along with Dotson and Kirk, because mobile home they occupy at Ashford was rented to her only. Hand written complaint asks Court to “Return the property and mobile home to Stephen Chandler and tenants are to be evicted immediately.”
    Case number: 12-C-50

    March 8
    Charles F. Bowman vs. Alpha Natural Resources Services, LLC; Alpha Appalachia Services, Inc., and Spartan Mining Co.
    PA- Mark A. Atkinson; J- William S. Thompson
    * Bowman says he was unlawfully terminated last February after some eight years employment by defendants because he attempted to receive workers’ compensation benefits. He wants jury awards to include lost wages and benefits, back and front pay, personal and punitive damages, pre-judgment interest, court costs, and further relief deemed just and equitable.
    Case number: 12-C-51

    March 12
    Belinda E. Smith vs. Jeffrey D. & Crystal Smith
    PA- pro se; J- William S. Thompson
    * Greenville, N.C., plaintiff claims Smiths have not paid on their rent-to-own financial agreement made with her last May. Belinda Smith says she’s owed $9,800 on payments past due from last January-March. She wants Court to have defendants removed from the Ridgeview property.
    Case number: 12-C-52


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  • 05/04/12--00:00: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • March 22
    Ryan Knight vs. Spartan Mining Co. dba Mammoth Coal Co.; Massey Energy Co.; and Alpha Natural Resources Services, LLC
    PA- Roger D. Forman; J- William S. Thompson
    * Knight charges malicious termination and workers’ compensation discrimination following his April 2010 injury while working at Mammoth’s Alloy Powellton Mine. He says he was dropping off loads of coal at the feeder to the mine, turned his shuttle car at a corner and slammed into a continuous miner that was moved into his path. He received medical attention for neck and back injuries that had him off work four days and cleared for light duty. Knight claims Defendant posted no warnings when the miner was moved and created an unsafe working condition. Complaint seeks jury awards of back and front pay, personal injury and emotional distress damages, and punitive and exemplary damages. Case was filed in Boone, where defendants have business office.
    Case number: 12-C-70

    March 23
    Danny R. Kirk and Patricia Mines vs. Xinergy of West Virginia, Inc.; JMP Coal Holdings, LLC; Raven Crest Mining, LLC; Raven Crest Contracting, LLC; Steven R. Mullins Excavating, Inc.; Virginia Explosives and Drilling Co., Inc; and Virginia Drilling Co., LLC
    PA- G. Patrick Jacobs, John H. Skaggs; J- Thompson
    * Complaint seeks jury determination of compensation for ill effects to couple’s home and property at Costa caused by nearby blasting relative to mining coal, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, court costs and such further relief deemed proper.
    Case number: 12-C-71

    March 29
    Gina Young, Administratrix of the Estate of Richard Young, Jr. vs. Apogee Coal Co. LLC, James Ray Browning and Patriot Coal, Inc.
    PA- Timothy Conaway; J- Thompson
    * Richard Young was employed one-year and one-half as a mechanic for Apogee. Wrongful death suit relates how he was killed May 14, 2011, at the Guyan Mine in Logan County after supervisor Browning directed him to do fuel tank maintenance on an end loader. It required removal of the counter weight to access the fuel tank, suit explains, a task Young had never done with that particular model. He was directly under the 11,685-pound counter weight, with no blocking in place, when, while removing some 14 of 16 connector bolts, the counter weight fell on him. Only one time during his entire career in coal mining had he removed a counterweight, complaint says, and charges defendants failed to properly train him. Suit demands jury judgment for all damages in an amount to adequately and fully compensate his estate, pre- and post-judgment interest, court costs, and such other relief deemed appropriate.
    Case number: 12-C-76

    April 3
    Anthony Castle vs. Long Branch Development Co.
    PA- Mark A. Atkinson, Peter A. Hendricks; J- Thompson
    * Castle says he and other Long Branch employees “were required to work while balancing themselves on a drill pod of a roof bolter, in violation of federal and state law and safety regulations…” His personal injury suit says he suffered “severe, permanent and disabling injuries” when he slipped while on a roof bolter drill pod in the course of his work Aug. 31, 2010. Castle seeks jury judgment in an amount in excess of jurisdictional limits to compensate for his loss and injuries, litigation costs, pre- and post-judgment interest where applicable, and further relief deemed just and proper.
    Case number: 12-C-81

    April 9
    Bobby W. and Vickie S. Dolin vs. Beneficial West Virginia, Inc.
    PA- Daniel F. Hedges; J- Thompson
    * Complaint says Foster couple was induced into a consolidation home secured loan of $69,402, more than double the home’s actual value. Beneficial West Virginia is accused of predatory lending practices, with excessive fees and costs to unsophisticated consumers. Case will go before a jury charging “Unconscionable Contract … Fraud …” and “Illegal Loan …” by Defendant, praying that loan and security be declared void, Plaintiff be awarded actual damages and such other relief deemed reasonable and just, and appropriate declaratory relief.
    Case number: 12-C-90


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    MADISON — A coal miner says an unsafe belt roller caused permanent and lasting injuries to his left arm.

    Mountaineer Labor Solutions owned and operated a coal mine in Boone County where the roller injured Tommy Blevins, according to his complaint filed March 14 in Boone Circuit Court by Beckley attorney Stephen P. New.

    The complaint names Independence Coal Co., Mountaineer Labor Solutions, Alpha Natural Resources Services, LLC; Alpha Appalachia Services, Inc. fka Massey Coal Services, Inc., as defendants.

    Logan County resident Blevins says he was instructed by foreman Jason Chambers on March 31, 2010, “to cut excess strings off a bottom roller …” when his left arm and hand “got caught in the belt roller.” There had been complaints, according to Blevins, that the belt line lacked emergency safety switches every five breaks as required by State and Federal regulations.

    Complaint says Blevins and Junior Ellis indicated the morning of Blevins’ accident “that they did not want to cut string on the belt while the belt was in operation.” According to complaint, the foreman told workers to cut string while belt was operating or go home.

    Case says “Massey Defendants” acted in concert to operate the mine where Blevins was injured and breached their duty to provide a safe work place. Complaint seeks jury judgment joint and severally against Defendants for damages in an amount in excess of the jurisdictional limit, plus all interest permitted by law and litigation costs.

    Judge William S. Thompson is expected to preside over a jury trial next March.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 12-C-56


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  • 05/18/12--00:00: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • March 13
    Allen J. Ball vs. Alpha Natural Resources, LLC; Alpha Appalachia Services, Inc., Independence Coal Co., Inc.
    PA- Mark A. Atkinson; J- William S. Thompson
    * Ball was discharged last January after some five years employed by defendants. He says it was “an unlawful retaliatory discharge” because he attempted to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits for disability, such as for permanent injuries to his knee and wrist. Ball seeks jury awards for personal, compensatory and punitive damages and court cost.
    Case number: 12-C-54

    Danny Harper vs. Independence Coal Co., Inc.; Alpha Natural Resources Services, LLC, and Alpha Natural Resources, Inc.
    PA- Matthew M. Hatfield; J- Thompson
    * Complaint details accident last June on mountaintop removal project in Boone County when Harper’s rock truck struck another that had been forced off the road. Harper says radio”was mounted below the driver’s field of vision” when he had to look down to comply with requirement to change the channel, which caused him to strike the ditched truck. Given three days suspension pending a drug screen, Harper says he passed the test but was unlawfully terminated after some nine years employment. He demands jury trial for compensatory, punitive and emotional distress damages, pre-judgment interest and litigation expenses.
    Case number: 12-C-55

    March 19
    Kenneth Price, Elizabeth A. Price, Matthew Jones, John Jones, Patrelia Lewis, Jeff Pricve, Rovena Ward, Thornton Price, Jr.; George E. Price, Richard Price, Johnnie Price, Garland Price and Argyle Wade vs. Doreen Price, as Executor of the Estate of Joel Price
    PA- Robert V. Berthold.Jr, Christina L. Smith, Robert V. Berthold, III; J- Thompson
    * Family survivors of a victim of the April 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine explosion are contesting a verbal wrongful death settlement agreement with Massey Defendants by Doreen Price, widow of Joel Price. The 13 plaintiffs filed a Petition For Declaratory Judgment And Injunctive Relief, saying they object unanimously to “such a woefully inadequate settlement…” Case was transferred from Raleigh Circuit Court.
    Case number: 12-C-59

    Nathan A. Shirkey, by and through his next friend and parent, John M. Shirkey vs. Melanie Shirkey
    PA- M. Timothy Koontz; J- Thompson
    * Father asks approval of $100,000 settlement with Erie Insurance stemming from November 2011 vehicle crash on Route 17 that seriously injured his 11-year-old son. Melanie Shirkey, driver and mother of Nathan, died as a result of injuries in the wreck. Medical expenses totaled $49,474 for the boy.
    Case number: 12-C-60

    March 21
    Brooke & Michael Gilliam vs. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.; Barry Stollings, Hatfield Appraisal Co., Bank of America, N.A., successor by merger to BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, and John Doe Holder
    PA- Lydia Milnes; J- Thompson
    * Coal miner and stay-at-home wife-mother complain defendants engaged in predatory lending by soliciting them to enter into home loan “based on fraudulently inflated appraisals.” Countrywide and its agents are accused of “entering into a home-secured loan for an amount significantly greater than the value of the house.” Loan servicer Bank of America, according to complaint, misrepresented to the Foster couple that they could get a loan modification, then pursued foreclosure. Real estate agent Stollings pre-approved financing the summer of 2006. Complaint says original appraisal gave $113,000 as market value of property, when actual value was $77,000. Gilliam, with work hours reduced last winter, had difficulty making loan payments and began seeking loan assistance. Despite BOA’s promises to make a loan modification, according to complaint, foreclosure was pursued. Gilliams want, among other things, for jury to declare loan void, and award actual and punitive damages, civil penalties of $4,000 for each violation pursuant to State Code, court expenses, and such other relief deemed appropriate and just.
    Case number: 12-C-63


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