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West Virginia's Legal Journal
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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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    MADISON – A personal injury lawsuit against the City of Danville has been settled and dismissed.

    On March 19, both parties announced to the Court that all matters and differences between them had been fully settled, compromised and adjusted, according to a dismissal order filed March 20 in Boone Circuit Court.

    Harry Cantley claimed the City of Danville was responsible for maintaining the sidewalk where he tripped and fell in September 2009, according to a complaint filed Sept. 7, 2011, in Boone Circuit Court.

    Cantley claimed the sidewalk located near the intersection of Fourth Street and Smooth Avenue had a raised portion where pavement from Fourth Street abutted it.

    Because of the sidewalk, Cantley sustained injuries that included a broken wrist, two black eyes and facial contusions, according to the suit.

    Cantley was seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He was being represented by Brian L. Ooten of Shaffer & Shaffer PLLC.

    The City of Danville was represented by Luci R. Wellborn and Erin J. Webb of Kay, Casto & Chaney PLLC.

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

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 11-C-174


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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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    MADISON — A professional medical malpractice suit against Charleston Area Medical Center and two Madison defendants is in Boone Circuit Court concerning a 2011 death.

    Victoria Stone, individually and as Administratrix of the estate of Ricci A. Stone, brings the action through attorneys Paul T. Farrell Jr. of Huntington and J. Robert Rogers of Charleston. The case was filed April 26.

    Complaint says R.A. Stone had no significant medical history when he went to CAMC complaining of flu-like symptoms March 13, 2009.

    “He also reported recent onset of intermittent episodes of tarry, black stools,” according to complaint. Diagnosed with “anemia secondary to gastrointestinal hemorrhage,” Stone was admitted in the early morning of March 14.

    Tests included an abdominal ultrasound due to diagnosed abnormal liver function. That ultrasound procedure and lack of follow-up is mentioned frequently in the suit, which says “No mention of the abnormal ultrasound report was recorded in the discharge summary nor discharge instructions.” Stone was discharged March 16 and established primary care with Dr. Robert B. Atkins at Madison Medical, PLLC both named defendants with CAMC in his litigation.

    Several office visits led to comprehensive lab work for “pernicious anemia,” which revealed elevated liver enzymes. Atkins is accused in complaint of failing to follow-up on an abnormal test result and Stone went to Boone Memorial’s emergency room in December 2010, where he was diagnosed with “early liver failure,” then transferred by ambulance to CAMC and diagnosed with end stage liver disease, according to complaint, and a recommended candidate for liver transplant.

    Suit contends “Timely diagnosis of liver disease following the 03.16.2009 abnormal ultrasound and/or the 05.21.2009 abnormal liver enzyme test would have prevented the death of Mr. Stone …”

    Concluding wrongful death, complaint wants jury awards jointly and/or severally of general and special damages, medical expenses, reasonable funeral expenses, as well as any other remedy permitted by state law.

    Morgantown Attorney P. Gregory Haddad is defense counsel for Atkins and Madison Medical, with Rita Massie Biser of South Charleston serving CAMC. Trial is projected for next May in Judge William S. Thompson’s court.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 12-C-107


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  • 05/25/12--00:00: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • April 9
    Judy Larck, Individually and on behalf of the Wrongful Death Beneficiaries of Peggy Akers vs. Advocate, Inc.
    PA- James B. McHugh, Michael J. Fuller Jr.; J- William S. Thompson
    * Advocate, Inc. is corporate operator of Boone Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, where Peggy Akers, age 73, was admitted in September 2010. Akers died last Jan. 5 following injuries, according to suit. Complaint seeks jury trial, detailing 12 counts, and wants judgment to include: Adequate damages exceeding minimum jurisdictional amount, general and special damages, litigation costs, punitive damages and other entitled relief under State law.
    Case number: 12-C-93

    April 10
    Terry L. Tallman vs. Independence Coal Co., Inc., d/b/a Progress Coal Co.
    PA- Francis M. Curnutte III; J- Thompson
    * Working at the Twilight Surface Mine, Tallman, age 52, filed a Workers Compensation claim in April 2011 for occupational pneumoconiosis. Complaint says he was terminated wrongly two days later, charging age discrimination and retaliatory discharge. He wants jury to award compensatory and punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, court costs and such other relief deemed just and appropriate.
    Case number: 12-C-95

    April 11
    Averol A. & Delores Ball vs. Eastern American Energy Corp. & Energy Corp. of America
    PA- William T. Forester; J- Thompson
    * Complaint seeks jury trial for injunctive relief and property damages. (Eastern American merged into Energy Corp. December 2009) Balls say EAEC crossed over their property to access oil and gas well work in the Yawkey area, causing “severe damage” and running an unauthorized gas line. They want jury determination of damage amount, preliminary injunction prohibiting trespass on their property to be made permanent, determine such other just relief, and return litigation expenses.
    Case number: 12-C-96

    April 13
    Discover Bank vs. James E. & Sharon Drake
    PA- Edna Jenelle Coulter, Christopher A. Dawson, Steven B. Mulrooney; J- Thompson
    * Suit says Madison couple now owes $15,779 on their contracted credit agreement since missing a payment due last December. Discover demands Court judgment to collect the debt.
    Case number: 12-C-97

    April 17
    Green Tree Servicing, LLC vs. Herman D. Pickens
    PA- Jason S. Long; J- Thompson
    * Green Tree complains it has the right to correct Pickens’ defaulted contract of December 1999 by repossessing a manufactured home serving as collateral. The contracted principal amount of $45,989 has increased to $117,705, with all applicable interest.
    Case number: 12-C-98

    April 20
    Vickie & Bobby Dolin vs. Blue World Pools, Inc.
    PA- Daniel F. Hedges; J- Thompson
    * Dolins want a jury to see them as victims of predatory lending practices. Residents of Bear Wallow Road at Foster entered into a $9,971 home solicited sales agreement with Beneficial West Virginia, Inc. in May 2008. In September 2008, Dolins were solicited to refinance their home secured loan and complaint continues, “The Defendant seller suppressed from the Plaintiffs that it was taking a security interest in their home.” Citing “Unconscionable Contract,” complaint says “Defendant has engaged in a pattern of predatory lending practices to make unfair loans in order to transfer the home equity from borrowers to the Defendants,” taking advantage of unsophisticated consumers who don’t understand financial matters. Complaint asks for $4,600 in civil penalties for each violation of the West Virginia Code, litigation expenses, and such other relief deemed appropriate and just.
    Case number: 12-C-104

    April 23
    Benjamin E. Croushom vs. J Force, Inc.; Crossland Transport, Inc.; Cross Fire Incorporated; and Justin Graybeal
    PA- Matthew M. Hatfield, Joel Baker; J- Thompson
    * Croushom claims unlawful termination by his coal truck hauling employers after being off the job a month last year following injury. He describes how the hood of a coal truck he was inspecting fell and cut his left ring finger, which became infected and “rendered the plaintiff unable to operate his coal truck…” Claiming compensate injury through Workers Compensation, he sought medical treatment and was removed from work by his physician. When released to return to work, he was not reinstated. Croushom seeks jury judgment for compensatory damages to include lost wages and benefits, back and front pay, personal and punitive damages, pre-judgment interest, court costs, and any other relief considered just and equitable.
    Case number: 12-C-105


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  • 06/01/12--00:00: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • May 3
    Jack D. Holley vs. Cequel III Communications I, LLC d/b/a Suddenlink; Cequel III Communications II, LLC d/b/a Suddenlink; Duska Arbaugh; and John Cox
    PA- Debra C. Price; J- William S. Thompson
    * Holley, age 56, charges Disability and Age Discrimination, and retaliation for filing for Workers’ Compensation was responsible for losing his job. The Cabell County resident says he was employed by Cequel III Communications I and/or predecessor Cequel III Communications II, d/b/a Suddenlink from 2005 until wrongful termination last Feb. 14 by letter from Human Resources Director Arbaugh. Complaint says Holley injured his knee in May 2011 while working outside as a service and installation technician. He got emergency room treatment and applied for and received Workers’ Comp benefits. While receiving ongoing treatment that included physical therapy, he was put on light duty in the dispatcher’s office. He had knee surgery November 2011 and returned to light duty work Dec. 26. While working in the warehouse, Holley’s physician took him off light duty, but ruled out outside pole climbing. Company and Manager Cox created a delivery position, took applications and required Holley to apply, says complaint, although he had been performing that position for weeks, and awarded the job to a younger person. Suit seeks jury judgment for compensatory and punitive damages, post-judgment interest, attorney’s fees and further relief deemed appropriate.
    Case number: 12-C-111
     
    May 9
    Discover Bank vs. Alice Butcher
    PA- Edna Jenelle Coulter, Christopher A. Dawson, Steven B. Mulrooney; J- Thompson
    * Charlotte, N.C., bank complains Costa resident owes more than $11,000 on her Discover card and is attempting to collect a debt.
    Case number: 12-C-112
     
    May 10
    Sheila A. Erwin, Individually and as Executrix of Estate of James Robie Erwin vs. Spartan Mining Co.
    PA- Brian L. Ooten; J- Thompson
    * Widow seeks wrongful death judgment concerning Erwin’s on-the-job, fatal injuries May 2010 in Spartan’s Ruby Energy underground coal mine in Mingo County. Erwin was operating a continuous mining machine when struck by a loaded shuttle car and pinned against the mine rib. He died 11 days later. Spartan is accused of placing Erwin in an unlawful and dangerous life threatening position when day shift crew was directed “to build a permanent stopping in an attempt to correct ventilation problems…” That project changed the route for shuttle car operators to load and unload in the mining section which “caused the shuttle cars to enter the section where the decedent was…at a tight sharp angle with reduced visibility.” Suit prays for a dozen jury awards, including medical and funeral expenses, lost wages, loss of consortium, all damages authorized by State Wrongful Death Act for plaintiff and other members of decedent’s family, litigation expenses, and pre- and post-judgment interest.
    Case number: 12-C-114
     
    Mark Casterline, Individually and on behalf of Estate and Wrongful Death Beneficiaries of Charles Casterline vs. Advocat, Inc.; Diversicare Leasing Corp.; Diversicare Managment Services Co.; Sterling Health Care Management, Inc.; Omega Healthcare, Inc.; and Steven Gardner, Administrator; John Does 1-10; and Unidentified Entities 1-10
    PA- Michael J. Fuller Jr.; J- Thompson
    * Suit wants jury to determine sum of award exceeding minimum jurisdictional amount to adequately compensate for all injuries and damage sustained by 73- year-old decedent in Boone Nursing & Rehabilitation Center; general, special and punitive damages, litigation costs, and all other relief entitled by law. Complaint says facility at Danville accelerated deterioration of Casterline’s health beyond normal aging because of dehydration, malnutrition, falls and poor hygiene.
    Case number: 12-C-117
     
    May 15
    Eric White vs. Coal River Mining, LLC; Coal River Energy, LLC, and Regional Mine Service, LLC
    PA- Matthew M. Hatfield; J- Thompson
    * Complaint says Coal River Mining and/or Coal River Energy owned and operated the Fork Creek mining complex where White was employed in June 2010 as a general laborer. He suffered serious and permanent injuries last July 1, says complaint, while assisting with recovery of a water pipeline. Riding a scoop hooked by chain to move the pipeline, White continues, pipe got lodged on mine floor track, or rail, broke loose and hit him when “propelled toward the scoop.” White says he was medically released in February 2011 to go back to work, but Regional Mine did not reinstate him. He wants jury judgment in an amount exceeding jurisdictional limit to fully compensate him for his loss and injuries, and award court costs, pre- and post-judgment interest, punitive damages and such further just and proper relief.
    Case number: 12-C-118


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    MADISON — A Florida man claims negligence by a Madison property owner created a stairway entrance hazard that caused him to fall and be injured.

    Charles Hudson accuses Rex Mitchell of two counts of negligence and infliction of of emotional distress because “he carelessly and wrongfully permitted the stairway to the entrance of … rental property to fall into a dilapidated condition … which caused your Plaintiff to fall as he was attempting to walk down this stairway” causing injury.

    A Second negligence count says the subject stairway was without a hand railing.

    Charleston lawyer Michael D. Payne filed the case June 22 in Boone Circuit Court, claiming Hudson suffered “great pain of body and mind, loss of enjoyment of life, annoyance and inconvenience, and other impairments and disabilities” in the June 2010 incident.

    A jury trial is demanded for compensatory damages in excess of statutory minimum, pre- and post-judgment interest, litigation expenses, and such other relief deemed fit.

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

    Boone Circuit Court case number 12-C-133


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    MADISON — A continuous miner operator claims he was seriously injured in Signature Mining Services’ Coalburg No. 1 underground mine when ordered to work despite adverse geological conditions.

    Brent Runyon, a Sylvester resident, complains “severe adverse rib conditions” presented high risk of serious injury in the mine’s 2 East working section Aug. 9, 2011.

    Runyon says he notified management of safety concerns for the No. 6 entry of 2 East section. Victor Dale Richmond, complaint continues, was mine superintendent at the time and instructed him to continue working in the area.

    “Shortly thereafter,” says complaint,”… loose, overhanging rib or brow that plaintiff had complained of fell out …” Runyon’s entire lower body was covered by fallen material causing 23 fractures, according to suit, that included a pelvis broken in five places, broken tailbone, right foot fractured in three places, five broken ribs, and broken right femur, hip and pubis.

    Defendants named are Signature Mining Services LLC, and Richmond. Charleston Attorneys D. Blake Carter, Jr., Timothy C. Bailey and J. Ryan Stewart filed suit May 31 seeking jury trial in Boone Circuit Court demanding judgment jointly and severally for compensatory and punitive damages, litigation costs, pre- and post-judgment interest, and any and all other relief ruled appropriate.

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

    Boone Circuit Court case number 12-C-121


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  • 07/13/12--00:00: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • June 5
    Charles Fleming, Individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated vs. Alpha Natural Resources Services, LLC; Corporation Service Co.; and Highland Mining Co.
    PA- Lonnie C. Simmons, Sean P. McGinley, Katherine R. Snow; J- William S. Thompson
    * Defendant companies are accused of violating the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act because all wages due more than 180 employees involved in layoffs on, or about last April 3, were not paid by next regular payday. John Doe West Virginia companies 1 through 5, or Alpha subsidiaries, are expected to be included in an amended complaint as “putative class” members. Complaint seeks jury trial for, among other things, award of damages for Fleming and each member of the class and all remedies afforded under the WPCA.
    Case number: 12-C-122

    June 15
    Green Tree Servicing LLC vs. Billy J. Nelson
    PA- Jason S. Long, Michael R. Proctor; J- William S. Thompson
    * Morgantown based liability company holds perfected security interest lien on a mobile home it wants to repossess. Green Tree says Nelson defaulted on his 1995 contract, still owing more than $40,000, and wants Court assistance in taking possession of the unit.
    Case number: 12-C-126

    State of West Virginia and Madison Police Department vs. 2005 Honda Civic and Eric Hall, interested party
    PA- Justin A. Marlowe, Asst. County Prosecutor; J- William S. Thompson
    * Madison Police Lt. John Adams charges Hall subject to the State Contraband Forfeiture Act by using his vehicle to facilitate transport, sale, receipt, possession or concealment of controlled substances. Traffic stop last April 11 in Madison disclosed Hall was illegally in possession of Oxymorephine, a schedule II narcotic, and admitted purchasing controlled prescription pills from different people throughout Boone County. Hearing on Petition for Forfeiture scheduled Aug. 8 before Circuit Judge William S. Thompson.
    Case number: 12-C-127

    June 18
    Lloyd & Brenda Alderman vs. Mine Safety Appliances Co., Persinger Supply Co., Raleigh Mine & Industrial Supply Co., and Eastern States Mine Supply Co.
    PA- G. Todd Houck; J- William S. Thompson
    * Lloyd Alderman worked as a coal miner some 23 years for various companies using respirators manufactured, distributed and sold by defendants. He claims the respirators had hidden defects, resulting in leakage of substantial amounts of harmful dust into his breathing system leading to his development of pneumoconiosis, or “black lung” disease. His product liability suit includes Brenda Alderman’s claim of loss of consortium and demands jury judgment for compensatory damages, punitive damages against MSA only, court costs, pre- and post-judgment interest, and all entitled further relief.
    Case number: 12-C-129

    James & Suzette Breeden, Woodrow Chambers, and Keith & Rhonda Maynor vs. Mine Safety Appliances Co., et al
    PA- G. Todd Houck; J- William S. Thompson
    * Three Product Liability Cases all styled similar to above 12-C-129.
    Case numbers: 12-C-130, 12-C-131, 12-C-132

    June 25
    Dorsey Green vs. Rivers Edge Mining, Inc.; Patriot Coal Corp., Eastern Associated Coal, LLC; Fred Conner and Mitchell Boland
    PA- Thomas A. Rist; J- William S. Thompson
    * Beginning in 2005, Green claims he “has had substantial, ongoing, and continuous problems with subsidence of his property” at Bim. Defendants have or still operate underground mines in and around his property, Green says, where maps on file show mining should not be done directly underneath. Also, he accuses Conner and Boland of “fraudulently withheld material information…” in reporting defendant coal companies had not mined under his property. He wants jury awards of compensatory damages for property involved, restoration costs, and diminution in property value, punitive and statutory damages, plus such other relief deemed appropriate.
    Case number: 12-C-137

    Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC, Assignee Of GE Money Bank FSB vs. Mark Foster aka Mark A. Foster
    PA- Andrew N. Frye III, Jane A. Pancake; J- Thompson
    * Suit says Ashford man defaulted on repayment of credit card debt of $14,636, and wants Court judgment to collect that balance with interest, plus its litigation costs.
    Case number: 12-C-139

    June 26
    State of West Virginia ex rel Darrell V. McGraw Jr., Attorney General vs. Cardinal Health, Inc.
    PA- Frances A. Hughes, James A. Cagle; J- Thompson
    * Complaint says Ohio corporation has substantially contributed to and benefitted from West Virginia’s prescription drug abuse problem. Case, scheduled for trial next June, uses 22 pages to present staggering money abuses both nationally and statewide relative to violations of controlled substances laws. Quoting complaint: “The Defendant has conspired with ‘pill mill’ physicians and pharmacies who prescribe and fill these prescriptions for illegitimate medicine purposes in order to restrain and monopolize trade in West Virginia for the ‘pill mill’ market.” Suit seeks temporary and permanent injunction mandating prompt information for West Virginia Board of Pharmacy concerning any and all suspicious orders for controlled substances and enjoins Cardinal from distributing any controlled substances for any illegitimate medical purpose in State; jury determination of costs, losses and damages proved relevant to several counts of Complaint; address relief, fees and cost available under West Virginia Credit & Consumer Protection Act; reimburse all litigation costs, order medical monitoring plain, and grant such further relief deemed appropriate.
    Case number: 12-C-140

    State of West Virginia ex rel Darrell V. McGraw Jr., Attorney General vs. Amerisourcebergen Drug Corp., et al
    PA- Frances A. Hughes, Rudolph L. DiTrapano; J- Thompson
    * Case essentially styled as 140 above, with 12 defendants cited “who have substantially, illicitly and tortiously benefitted financially from the prescription drug abuse problem in West Virginia.” Also named defendants are Miami-Luken, Inc.; J.M. Smith Corp. dba Smith Drug Co., The Harvard Drug Group, LLC; Anda Inc., Associated Pharmacies, Inc.; Auburn Pharmaceutical Co., H.D. Smith Wholesale Drug Co., Keysource Medical Inc., Masters Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Quest Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Richie Pharmacal Co., Inc. and Top Rx, Inc. State seeks jury trial scheduled next June, taking same various positions as detailed in above case.
    Case number: 12-C-141

    June 27
    Richard Thompson vs. Alpha Appalachia Services, Inc. and Green Valley Coal Co.
    PA- David Grubb, Kristina Thomas Whiteaker; J- Thompson
    * His sexual orientation does not fit stereotypical standards of masculinity, Thompson complains, causing a hostile work environment that cost him his job as a coal truck driver. Thompson began employment with defendants December 2008 and says he was subject to severe and pervasive harassment. Several complaints to his supervisor and human resources director led to “write-ups” in late February 2011 for various issues against him. Thompson says when directed to sign disciplinary papers, he refused knowing he was going to be fired. His suit charges sex discrimination in violation of the State Human Rights Act, unlawful retaliation and reprisal. Jury trial scheduled next June is expected to hear request for a permanent injunction ordering Appalachia Services and Green Valley to establish on-going sexual harassment and workplace discrimination training for employees. Thompson seeks back and front pay, compensatory and punitive damages, court expenses, pre- and post-judgment interest, plus such further relief deemed appropriate.
    Case number: 12-C-142


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  • 08/31/12--00:05: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • July 3
    Jason S. Gillespie vs. Marvin C. Plumley, Warden Huttonsville Correctional Center
    * Gillespie petitioned for Writ of Habeas Corpus seeking new trial concerning conviction of Second Degree Murder and sentence of 25 years. He contended juror misconduct was discovered and there was “Ineffective Assistance of Counsel” with regard to his Feb. 22, 2008, conviction in Boone Circuit Court. State Supreme Court affirmed Boone decision last July 16.
    Case number: 12-C-143

    July 9
    Paul Casket Co., Inc. vs. Tom Stevens d/b/a Stevens Funeral Home
    PA- Clinton W. Smith; J- William S. Thompson
    * Cambridge City, Ind., company complains Stevens owes more than $12,700 and seeks jury judgment for payment for good and/or services, pre- and post-judgment interest, late charges, collection fees and litigation costs.
    Case number: 12-C-144

    July 11
    Jason Blankenship, Individually and on behalf of those similarly situated vs. Brody Mining, LLC
    PA- Todd S. Bailess, Joy B. Mega; J- Thompson
    * Blankenship worked as a belt examiner and fire boss for about a month last year before being discharged. He says Brody Mining violated the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act by failing to pay former employees within 72 hours of discharge. Class action suit seeks jury awards for Blankenship and each member of the Class to include compensatory damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, litigation costs, injunctive relief and such further relief deemed just and equitable.
    Case number: 12-C-146

    July 12
    Jerry E. & Karen Y. Lilly vs. Performance Coal Co.; Elk Run Coal Co., Inc.; Alpha Natural Resources, Inc.; Alpha Natural Resources LLC; Alpha Appalachia Services, Inc.; Don Blankenship; Ranger Fuel Corp.; and Westmoreland Coal Co.
    PA- Allan N. Kartin; J- Thompson
    * Personal injury suit cites defendants exposed the 53-year-old underground miner to excessive dust in violation of lawful limits. The disabled Lilly worked in Southern West Virginia underground mines from about 1976 through 2006 operating a continuous mining machine and doing roof bolting. He was regularly exposed to respiratory diseases, says complaint, “and repeatedly exposed to dangerous levels of respirable dust…in excess of those levels permitted under applicable law and industry standards.” Lilly contracted pneumoconiosis, silicosis and other respirable diseases he continues to suffer from and says he is entitled to recover damages in an amount determined by a jury. Couple seeks compensatory and punitive damages for negligence and loss of consortium and services, pre- and post-judgment interest and court costs.
    Case number: 12-C-148


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  • 09/14/12--00:00: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • July 16
    John Kersey vs. CSX Transportation, Inc.
    PA- Harry G. Shaffer, III, K. Brian Adkins; J- William S. Thompson
    * Personal injury suit claims CSX locomotive with Kersey as conductor had faulty braking that caused it to crash into a truck attempting to cross tracks near the Cow Creek Mines area in November 2008. Complaint seeks jury trial, citing violations of Locomotive Inspection Act and Federal Employer’s Liability Act. Kersey says he’s entitled to awards of special damages for past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, and general damages, all in excess of jurisdictional limits.
    Case number: 12-C-150

    Tammy Charcandy vs. Washington National Insurance Co.
    PA- John J. Polak; J- Thompson
    * Woman argues Washington National failed to provide all benefits to which she was entitled under her sickness/accident policy. Charcandy says she “was rendered temporarily totally disabled” by a treating physician after suffering injury in a work related accident in March 2011. She also says Workers Compensation determined she was temporarily and totally disabled from March 7 to August 2011. Insurance company initially paid a benefit, but refused to pay beyond May 2011. Charcandy charges breach of contract among four counts she wants a jury to consider in determining awards. Notice of Removal to Federal Court was filed Aug. 17 by Charleston law firm Lewis Glasser Casey & Rollins because “amount in controversy in this case exceeds $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs…”
    Case number: 12-C-151

    July 23
    Joshua M. Beane vs. Polaris Sales, Inc.
    PA- Scott H. Kaminski; J- Thompson
    * Beane says he purchased a new Polaris vehicle with a written warranty last May, then returned vehicle May 16 to Route 19 Powersports in Danville, complaining the engine was smoking. Company responded that vehicle “had been modified with a non-stock air filter” and refused to honor warranty. Beane demands jury trial for awards sufficient to compensate for damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, his court costs, and all other relief deemed just and proper.
    Case number: 12-C-157

    July 24
    Steven and Kimberly White vs. Newtown Energy, Inc.; Coventry Mining Services, LLC; and Kanawha Eagle Coal, LLC
    PA- Matthew M. Hatfield, John J. Polak; J- Thompson
    * Complaint reviews an August 2010 development in the Eagle underground mine near Comfort when the mantrip White was riding to his work area went off track. A chain ratchet, White says, anchored to a mine roof support was hooked to the mantrip and an effort to hoist it back on track. He says he was struck “with great force and violence and causing serious and permanent injury” when the roof support and/or ratchet broke. White complains such procedure is “dangerous, defective and contrary to safety standards and regulations…” Wife Kimberly, as co-plaintiff, says her husband’s severe injuries deprive her of “society, companionship, consortium and service…” Couple’s personal injury suit seeks jury judgment, jointly and severally, in an amount in excess of jurisdictional limits to “fully compensate them for their losses and injuries” and pre- and post-judgment interest, litigation expenses and such other relief deemed just and proper.
    Case number: 12-C-158

    July 30
    Adam Huffman vs. Coal River Energy, LLC; Regional Mine Service, LLC; and David Cobb
    PA- Michael A. Olivio; J- Thompson
    * Wrongful termination suit claims Huffman was let go because he was receiving workers compensation benefits following two incidents of injury while employed some 11 months at Fork Creek Mine. First he received an electrical shock, complaint mentions, and defendants denied his workers compensation claim; but related medical bills and lost wages were paid by his employer. Huffman was hurt again in August 2011 by a large section of roof fall, he states, and applied for and received workers comp benefits. He was terminated Aug. 25, 2011. Huffman named Superintendent Cobb in his action seeking jury awards of personal and punitive damages, lost wages and benefits, pre-judgment interest, court costs, and additional relief considered euitable.
    Case number: 12-C-163


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    MADISON — Authorities failed to understand a “specific neurological” injury suffered by inmate Kedron Eugene Setser that allegedly led to his suicide.

    Malcolm D. Setser, father and personal representative of the estate of K.E. Setser, filed a personal injury suit through Charleston attorney Lonnie C. Simmons on Aug. 1 in Boone Circuit Court.

    Suit states Setser “suffered a number of permanent physical and neurological injuries” caused by a June 12, 1999, automobile accident requiring ongoing medical care; and also declared, “As a result of the injuries he suffered from this accident and his depressive disorder, Decedent Kedron Setser was found to be disabled and was awarded Social Security disability and childhood disability benefits.”

    He killed himself Sept. 20, 2011, while being held at Southwestern Regional Jail.

    The case lists following defendants: Alaina Harvey, a probation officer; Boone County Probation Services; John Workman, Home Incarceration Officer and Deputy Sheriff; Boone County Sheriff’s Office; and Boone County Commission.

    Setser suffered from Cauda Equina Syndrome, known as CES, which makes it difficult to urinate on demand. Complaint details several incidents requiring him to undergo drug/alcohol testing through urine sampling. Two felony convictions had led to court ordered supervision of Setser and situations where urine screening tests were the norm.

    Complaint relates September 2011 request by defendants Harvey and Workman for a urine sample. “Although Decedent Kedron Setser made every attempt to comply … and drank lots of water,” says complaint, “he was unable to provide a urine sample after five hours.”

    Morgantown attorneys John M. Hedges and Stephanie J. Shepherd signed off Sept. 7 on a Motion To Dismiss the wrongful death claim against Harvey, saying “Plaintiff Fails to Allege Facts Sufficient to Establish that Defendant Harvey Was Liable in the Suicide Death of Kedron Setser.”

    Trial, with Judge William S. Thompson presiding, is scheduled for next August. Complaint will argue among other things, Decedent’s constitutional rights were violated and there was disability discrimination relative to the West Virginia Human Rights Act.

    The Court will be asked to include awards for compensatory and punitive damages when considering “all damages permitted by law,” and specifically cover funeral and litigation expenses, as well as loss of income and medical expenses.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 12-C-174


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  • 09/28/12--00:05: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • Aug. 6
    FIA Card Services, N.A. vs. James E. Drake
    PA- Edna Jenelle Coulter, Christopher A. Dawson, Steven B. Mulrooney; J- William S. Thompson
    * FIA sued Madison man for $33,349 on defaulted contract loan balance. Judge William S. Thompson entered an Agreed Judgment that Drake makes payments of $400 per month, beginning by Sept. 28, with subsequent payments due the 28th of each month.
    Case number: 12-C-180

    Aug. 8
    Lora A. Ball and Michael A. Ball vs. Robert W. Conner and Westfield Insurance Co.
    PA- R. Edison Hill; J- William S. Thompson
    * Complaint says Lora Ball was driving on Route 17 near Ramage on Aug. 9, 2010, when Conner caused a head-on collision with his pickup truck resulting in severe and permanent injuries to the Madison woman. She seeks jury awards of compensatory damages in excess of jurisdictional limit and charges her husband has been deprived of consortium. She also demands further judgment against Westfield Insurance based on first party underinsurance coverage.
    Case number: 12-C-181

    Kimberly A. Smell vs. West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles and Joe E. Miller, Commissioner
    PA- Matthew M. Hatfield; J- William S. Thompson
    * Judge Thompson ordered a temporary stay of driving privileges for Smell after hearing her motion contesting DMV’s six-month revocation of her driver’s license. State agency supported arrest documentation alleging Smell drove a motor vehicle while under influence of alcohol. Temporary stay ordered Aug. 16 concluded “a substantial probability the appellant will prevail upon the merits” of her appeal.
    Case number: 12-C-182

    State of West Virginia and WV State Police and Madison Police Dept. vs. Six Thousand Seven Hundred Seventy-Five Dollars, and Shelly Vankirk (interested party)
    PA- Justin A. Marlowe, Asst. Prosecuting Attorney; J- William S. Thompson
    * Judge Thompson approved Agreed Order on Forfeiture of $6,775 to State under West Virginia Contraband Forfeiture Act. Authorities found several grams of marijuana and $6,775 in Vankirk’s vehicle at a June 2012 traffic stop on US 119 in Boone County. She approved the forfeiture agreement.
    Case number: 12-C-184

    Aug. 10
    Jerry Wiseman vs. Rick Simpkins, individually, and Frasure Creek Mining, LLC d/b/a Trinity Coal Corp.
    PA- Lia DiTrapano Fairless; J- William S. Thompson
    * Employed some three years by Trinity as equipment operator under supervision of Simpkins, Wiseman complains he is entitled to wages for his lunch period and when separated from employment all wages and benefits owed him were not paid in violation of the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act. He wants jury to award wages due and liquidated, with pre- and post-judgment interest, litigation expenses and any further relief deemed appropriate.
    Case number: 12-C-185

    William Hill vs. Rick Simpkins, et al
    PA- DiTrapano Fairless; J- William S. Thompson
    * Essentially same complaint language as 12-C-185 above.
    Case number: 12-C-186

    Jason Lloyd vs. Rick Simpkins, et al
    PA; DiTrapano Fairless; J- William S. Thompson
    * Styled same as above two cases.
    Case number: 12-C-187

    Sept. 12
    Elaine Cales vs. Michael & Jennifer Jarrell
    PA- pro se; J- William S. Thompson
    * Judge Thompson dismissed appeal and upheld Magistrate Court ruling finding Daville couple failed to pay rent of residential property and ordered their removal for wrongful occupation, as charged by Cales.
    Case number: 12-C-179


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    MADISON – Norma Sue Ferrell claims gender and age factored into losing her job that included running parks and truck driving for coal companies.

    She was employed from August 2007 until the end of last year by defendants Eagle Creek Mining, LLC; JMP Coal Holdings, LLC; JMP Holdings, LLC; and Gary Ludwig, her supervisor.

    Madison Attorney Matthew M. Hatfield filed the woman’s case Aug. 21 in Boone Circuit Court, with jury trial expected next August before Circuit Judge William S. Thompson.

    Ferrell says she was injured in March 2011 “attempting to move and/or load heavy parts into a truck…”

    She notes the work-related injury qualified her for Workers’ Compensatory temporary total disability benefits from March through August 2011.

    Complaint says “defendants willfully, maliciously and unlawfully” failed to reinstate her, violating the West Virginia Human Rights Act.

    She claims defendants paid her less per hour “than her younger male co-workers…in the same, or similar, position(s);” that when she applied for jobs for which she was qualified, those positions went to younger male workers with less experience.

    Detailing five causes of action, suit wants jury awards to include lost wages and benefits; back and front pay; damages for indignity, embarrassment, humiliation and emotional distress; punitive damages to be determined; pre- and post-judgment interest; litigation costs; and such further relief deemed just and equitable.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 12-C-193


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  • 10/26/12--05:05: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • Aug. 13
    Barton Meadows vs. JMP Coal Holdings, LLC; Raven Crest Mining, LLC; Raven Crest Contracting, LLC; Virginia Explosives & Drilling Co., Inc.; Virginia Drilling Co., LLC; Xinergy Corp.; and Xinergy of West Virginia, Inc.
    PA- Marvin W. Masters, Christopher L. Brinkley; J- William S. Thompson
    * Meadows contends blasting and coal mining activities by defendants has damaged his home and property at Peytona and, among other things, constitutes trespassing and nuisance and annoyance. Complaint says “Defendants are agents, servants and employees of each other; and although the company defendants purport to be separate companies, they are in fact one company and one legal entity for purposes of this civil action.” Meadows seeks jury judgment, jointly and severally, to determine amount of an award, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, litigation costs and such other relief deemed proper.
    Case number: 12-C-188

    Aug. 16
    Patrick I. White vs. West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles and Joe E. Miller, commissioner
    PA- Matthew M. Hatfield; J- William S. Thompson
    * White asks court review of revocation of his driver’s license. He was arrested by Madison police and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, resulting in DMV issuing a final revocation last Aug. 10. Judge William S. Thompson granted a temporary stay last Sept. 10 pending further disposition.
    Case number: 12-C-190

    Aug. 21
    Charles Bias vs. Mountain Edge Mining, Inc.
    PA- Brian L. Ooten; J- William S. Thompson
    * Danville man wants jury verdict for various awards relative to injuries he suffered in September 2010 working at Mountain Edge’s Coalburg No. 1 underground mine. Bias says he was asked to operate a remote controlled continuous mining machine which he was never trained to operate while its regular operator was off work ill. During operation, the machine’s umbilical cord connected to the remote control and became tangled. In attempting to untangle the cord, Bias claims, a lever on the remote was triggered “causing the boom of the mining machine to strike the plaintiff and pin him against the rib of the mine, thereby causing severe and permanent personal injuries.” Suit says safety regulations, laws and industry standards were violated. Bias seeks payments for, among other things, past and future medical expenses; economic losses; ability to enjoy life; scarring and disfigurement; court costs; pre- and post-judgment interest; and any other relief to which he is entitled.
    Case number: 12-C-192

    Aug. 24
    Ellis Supple Co., Inc. vs. James M. and Rhonda Hill
    PA- Bobby R. Hale; J- William S. Thompson
    * Logan County firm claims Madison couple owes $50,678 for materials purchased on account used to make improvements to real estate they own. Ellis asks Court to find the Hills indebted in an amount of $50,678, plus award of pre- and post-judgment interest, litigation costs, determine that plaintiff has a valid first lien on defendants’ subject real estate and order such real estate be sold by judicial sale to satisfy the lien.
    Case number: 12-C-194

    Melissa and Jerry Goins vs. Jamie Lester, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. and Lindsay Fitzsimmons
    PA- Matthew M. Hatfield; J- William S. Thompson
    * Wyoming County residents, Goins couple seeks jury determination of rightful insurance benefits stemming from September 2010 rear-end collision with vehicle operated by Melissa Goins on U.S. 52 near Sprateville in Mingo County. Lester drove the vehicle striking Melissa Goins, says complaint, thereafter fled the accident scene and was later arrested. Melissa Goins contends she suffered “serious and permanent bodily injury…” State Farm is authorized to do business in Boone County, with Fitzsimmons described as a claim representative located in Charleston. Breach of contract and unfair claims settlement practices are charged by the Goinses, saying they were denied specified coverages. They demand jury judgment against State Farm and Fitzsimmons for compensatory and punitive damages, court costs and such other just and proper relief.
    Case number: 12-C-195

    Aug. 30
    Ernie Burns vs. Patriot Coal Corp.; Pine Ridge Coal Co., LLC; and Mark Neal, individually
    PA- Harry M. Hatfield; J- William S. Thompson
    * Burns claims he was unlawfully discharged after 36 years of employment by the defendants or their predecessor companies. Listing six causes for legal action, complaint wants jury awards to include damages for lost wages and benefits; back and front pay; punitive damages; pre-judgment interest; litigation costs; and further just and equitable relief. Burns says he was not paid wages in full within 72 hours of discharge and was a victim of retaliation for his attempt to obtain Workers’ Compensation benefits.
    Case number: 12-C-197

    Sept. 6
    Crystal D. Halstead vs. Speedway, LLC; Sherry Fitch, Tom Edwards, Vickie Bayes and John Doe
    PA- Matthew M. Hatfield; J- William S. Thompson
    * Julian resident brings personal injury suit against Speedway Store No. 9351 in South Charleston and persons said to be managers there. Halstead complains a wet floor near a leaking slushy/soda machine inside the convenience store caused her to slip and fall, thereby suffering “serious and permanent bodily injuries.” She wants jury verdicts, jointly and severally, for an amount in excess of jurisdictional limits, plus special and general damages, her court expenses, pre- and post-judgment interest and further just and proper relief.
    Case number: 12-C-198


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    Goodwin

    CHARLESTON – The United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia on Nov. 5 remanded a securities class action case, Olivia Niitsoo v. Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. et al., back to the Circuit Court of Boone County.

    This case arises out of the June 1, 2011, merger of Massey Energy Co. into Alpha Natural Resources, Incorporated. Both companies are major producers and sellers of coal.

    The merger agreement gave Massey shareholders $10 and 1.025 shares of Alpha common stock for each share of Massey common stock they owned. Niitsoo contends that Alpha shares were overvalued due to Alpha’s hiding of production issues until after the merger was completed.

    The suit, originally filed July 13, alleges violations of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended by the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998. The defendants removed the case to the district court on Aug. 16, and Niitsoo moved to remand back to the circuit court on Aug. 30.

    Representing the plaintiff from the New York office of Scott and Scott are Donald A. Broggi, Gary Dustin Foster, Joseph P. Guglielmo, Geoffrey M. Johnson, and Stephen J. Teti. West Virginia attorneys Robert G. McCoid of McCamic Sacco and McCoid, and John D. Wooten, Jr. of The Wooton Law Firm represent Niitsoo as well.

    They argued that a securities class action filed in state court cannot be removed to federal court if it only alleges violations of federal law. Acknowledging that federal circuits have handled this issue differently, the attorneys argue that under recent case law, SLUSA is best interpreted in favor of their client’s motion to remove back to the state court.

    After in depth analysis of the circuit splits on the issue, Chief Judge Joseph R. Goodwin agreed with the Plaintiff Niitsoo, holding that “as counter-intuitive as it may seem, the Securities Act only permits the removal of securities class actions alleging state law fraud violations … which must be dismissed whether they are before state or federal courts. Arguments to the contrary exist, but recent Supreme Court dicta in Kircher v. Putnam Funds Trust, 547 U.S. 633 (2006), persuade me that the defendants cannot properly remove a federal securities class action originally brought in state court.”

    The case will now head back to the Circuit Court of Boone County for further proceedings.


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    MADISON — Logan County resident Thomas E. Thompson, Jr., thinks his auto insurance provider has never settled his underinsured motorist’s coverage claim relative to a vehicle collision five years ago.

    He says he was injured because driver of the other vehicle was clearly responsible for the Sept. 7, 2007, accident. That driver’s insurance carrier offered its per-person bodily injury liability limit of $20,000, which Thompson contends didn’t cover his accident-related monetary damages. He tendered a demand for underinsured motorist’s coverage from his carrier, Westfield Insurance Co.

    Attorney Joel Baker of Madison filed Thompson’s case Sept. 27 in Boone Circuit Court demanding jury trial.

    Case recalls that Thompson accepted the $20,000 liability offer, thus settling with driver responsible for accident, and “reimbursed the sum of $3,333.33 to Defendant (Westfield)…” as per conditions involving subrogation, according to complaint.

    Thompson contends Westfield “under-valuated Plaintiffs damages and offered only $10,000 out of a $100,000 available limit.” He has suffered injuries, some permanent, Thompson asserts, with medical bills of some $10,000 and use of personal leave valued at $14,000 that are likely to continue in the future.

    “Defendant’s failure to properly evaluate and adjust Plaintiffs underinsured claim,” suit says, “constitutes breach of contract.”

    Thompson says he’s “entitled to full amount of his damages, as determined by the jury, together with separate awards for aggravation and inconvenience…as well as net economic loss caused by the delay.” He seeks recovery of court expenses, plus punitive damages should “jury find actual malice.”

    Complainant signed Stipulation on Limitation of Damages to not accept an award exceeding $74,500, “inclusive of interest, costs, attorneys’ fees, punitive damages, and all relief of any nature…”

    Trial date has not been docketed for Judge William S. Thompson.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 12-C-209


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  • 11/23/12--04:15: CIVIL FILINGS: Boone County
  • Sept. 7
    State of West Virginia and Boone County Sheriff’s Dept. vs. Nineteen Eighty Nine Chevrolet S-10, Adam Mitchell (interested party)
    PA- Justin A. Marlowe; J- William S. Thompson
    * Citing State Contraband Forfeiture Act, Petition For Forfeiture filed following traffic stop last June in Route 17 area that turned up two marijuana plants in the bed of a vehicle “used, has been used, or was intended for use, to transport, or in any manner to facilitate the transportation, sale, receipt, possession or concealment of controlled substances…”
    Case number: 12-C-199

    Sept. 14
    Tammy Honaker, Administratrix of Alex Honaker vs. Coder’s Bar & Grill, LLC; and Christopher
    Floria
    PA- Edward G. Atkins; J- William S. Thompson
    * Wrongful death complaint says Alex Honaker died in September 2010 when his motor vehicle left Route 3 near Stickney, then struck a rock or concrete pier. Administratrix, victim’s mother, says unlawful sale of alcohol to her underage son at Cooter’s resulted in intoxication impairing his ability to drive. Floria, described as owner and manager of subject bar, resides at Colcord, Raleigh County. Victim’s parents seek jury award in sufficient amount to compensate for their loss and costs.
    Case number: 12-C-204

    Sept. 18
    Tammy Honaker, Administratrix vs. Cooter’s Bar & Grill, LLC
    PA- Edward G. Atkins; J- William S. Thompson
    * Suit styled same as Case 12-C-204 accusing only the Boone County establishment of causing minor Alex Honaker’s death by unlawfully selling him alcoholic beverages.
    Case number: 12-C-205

    Sept. 20
    James S. Smith and Debra Smith vs. Mine Safety Appliances Co.; Persinger Supply Co.; Raleigh
    Mine & Industrial Supply, Inc.; and Eastern States Mine Supply Co.
    PA- G. Todd Houck; J- William S. Thompson
    * Smith brings product liability suit saying he developed what coal miners call “black lung” disease because he breathed substantial amounts of harmful dust through respirators having hidden defects that were manufactured and sold by MSA, and distributed, supplied and sold by the other three defendants. Smith, a coal miner some 28 years, lives at Lynco. Wife Debra claims loss of consortium because of James’ condition. Smiths want jury verdicts, jointly and severally, for compensatory and punitive damages, litigation expenses, pre- and post-judgment interest, and all further relief for which entitled.
    Case number: 12-C-206

    Sept. 24
    Harold Willmeth vs. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., Thomas Fitzsimmons
    PA- Brian E. Biglow; J- William S. Thompson
    * Willmeth contends State Farm has not fulfilled benefits owed stemming from an October 2010 rear end collision caused by a trailing vehicle. He wants a jury to sort out his entitlements from underinsured motorists and medical expense coverages. He challenges State Farm and adjuster Fitzsimmons’ interpretation that reduces total of claims by the amount of bodily injury damage paid.
    Case number: 12-C-208

    Oct. 4
    State of West Virginia By Its Prosecuting Attorney of Boone County, for and on behalf of the US 119 Task Force vs. Christopher R. Ferrell, Jessica M. Elswick, Marshall D. Taylor & Michael M. Mitchell, United States Currency in the Sum of Two Thousand One Hundred Thirty-One Dollars ($2,131) and any Other Unknown Parties of Interest
    PA- Justin Marlow; J- William S. Thompson
    * County and State Police made a controlled purchase last July 12 of Oxymorphone pills at the Hewitt address of Ferrell and obtained a search warrant. When taking defendants into custody, officers discovered a four-month-old infant at the residence and seized additional “Opana” and a total of $2,131 under State law involving possession of controlled substance with intent to deliver.
    Case number: 12-C-212


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    MADISON – Attorney Bobby R. Hale of Madison, representing himself, filed for a writ of mandamus in Boone Circuit Court to compel the Boone County Board of Education and its superintendent to properly compensate him for services as a “Plumber II.”

    A petition filed Oct. 12 says Hale “has been previously employed by the Board of Education as a math teacher and building construction teacher, both of which are professional positions and petitioner has 11 allowable credited years of experience as a professional employee.”

    Hale asserts he has “the salary class: Doctorate Degree and highest degree: Doctorate Degree” in determining salary mandated in the State Code (§18A-4- 8a). At issue is School Board and Superintendent John G. Hudson’s refusal to pay Hale in accordance with his experience and salary classification.

    Petition seeks back pay compensation, court expenses, pre- and-post-judgment interest and such other relief Court considers necessary.

    Defendants’ response denies several of Hale’s allegations, including his Paragraph V relative to 11 “allowable credited years of experience as a professional employee…”

    A hearing on the petition was scheduled Nov. 14, but was not held by Judge William S. Thompson.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 12-A-215


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    Fuller

    Fuller

    MADISON – 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 the complaint Oct. 22 on behalf of Earnest Johnson, individually, and on behalf of the Estate and Wrongful Death Beneficiaries of Kathryn Clay.

    Decedent, then age 73, was admitted to Boone Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in late May 2010, and she died Sept. 3, 2011.

    The complaint claims Clay suffered personal injuries and damages while residing in the Danville skilled nursing facility.

    Defendants are headed by Advocate, Inc., a Delaware corporation with principal location at Brentwood, Tenn. Others named include: Diversicare Leasing Corp.; Diversicare Management Services Co.; Sterling Health Care Management, Inc.; Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc.; Steven Gardner, administrator of accused nursing home; John Does 1 through 10; and Unidentified Entities 1 through 10 (as to Boone Nursing & Rehabilitation Center).

    The suit says, “Defendants owned, operated, managed and/or controlled Boone Nursing & Rehabilitation Center…and are therefore directly liable for all the care provided.”

    Fuller’s complaint “package,” measuring some inch-and-a-quarter thick, spells out 12 counts, mentioning accusations such as negligence for non-lethal and lethal injuries, violations of state nursing home requirements, medical malpractices, willful, wanton, or reckless disregard for Clay’s safety, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.

    The complaint prays for a jury to determine damages exceeding the minimum jurisdictional amount and adequate to compensate for all injuries and damage sustained, litigating costs, punitive damage sufficient to punish Defendants for egregious conduct and deter repeating such atrocities, plus all other legally entitled relief.

    Counsel for Defendants, Steptoe & Johnson Attorney Michael D. Mullins of Charleston, responds by listing 13 defenses. Included is a motion to stay proceedings pending resolution of arbitration requested in U.S. District Court for Southern District of West Virginia. Mullins presents that “On May 21, 2010, Plaintiff executed and contractually agreed to arbitrate on any and all claims…on behalf of his mother, Kathryn Clay.”

    No trial date is projected for Boone Circuit Court and Judge William S. Thompson.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 12-C-221


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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 no visible inspection sticker.

    Driver Monte Bowen of Mingo County, according to Walter, was “acting very nervous, sweating profusely, and unable to consistently answer or replay to requests.” There was a female passenger, Angel Ruth Bowen, seated between the driver and Sherman D. Johnson, the report noted. Monte Bowen was asked to exit vehicle, with suspicion of driving under the influence.

    The two passengers were asked to get out of the vehicle, Walter reported, and Johnson became uncooperative and Angel Bowen seemed very nervous.

    During a safety search, $1,580 was found in Johnson’s pants pocket. While interviewing Monte Bowen, Walter says he was advised Johnson was being driven to Cleveland to purchase crack. Another $2,100 in currency turned up in the woman’s purse.

    Trooper Sgt. A.S. Perdue of the US Route 119 Drug Task Force was called to assist with conducting additional drug investigation when the trio was transported to the Madison State Police Detachment.

    The police report says the Bowens gave a statement that said they had driven Johnson, also known as “Young,” to Ohio three times to obtain crack cocaine for sale.

    Assistant Boone Prosecutor Justin Marlowe filed case Number 12-C-236 Nov. 27 as a Petition For Forfeiture of the $3,680 discovered by Walter as property subject to seizure in commission of a crime.

    Boone Circuit Court Judge William S. Thompson scheduled a hearing for Jan. 9 on the petition.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 12-C-236


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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 net insurance settlement proceeds payable for injuries received in September 2010 when she says a shelf collapsed on her arm while reaching for a can of soda in the Kroger store at Danville. Helen Dillon, 58 years old when the alleged accident happened and single with no children, receives Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid benefits. Judge William S. Thompson approved Petition and Trust Nov. 5.
    Case number: 12-C-213

    Oct. 15
    Merita Selbe vs. Pamela D. Atkins, John Doe
    PA- Maureen Conley; J- William S. Thompson
    * Selbe seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to locate and regain possession of a mobile home she says she owns that was situated on land owned by Atkins. Petitioner’s daughter and respondent’s son cohabitated some 11 years in the mobile home, according to complaint, then separated last April. Atkins named Selbe’s daughter in a Wrongful Occupation Petition in Magistrate Court and an ensuing order directed the woman to remove the mobile home by July. Selbe contends she was never named as a party or served with process in that action. A phone message said the trailer was sold, but Selbe says she is the legal owner and should be awarded immediate possession and informed of the name of a “John Doe” buyer.
    Case number: 12-C-216

    Oct. 17
    Angela Searls, Personal Representative of Estate of Susie K. Thompson, deceased, Petition For Approval And Confirmation Of Settlement
    PA- Thomas G. Wilson; J- William S. Thompson
    * Susie Thompson died Nov. 9, 2010, during pendency of a products liability lawsuit that claimed hormone therapy products caused her to develop terminal breast cancer. Suit was settled in Arkansas. The 65-year-old resident of Danville was survived by a spouse, three daughters and two sisters. Searls, a daughter, determined that the daughters and widower Jerry Thompson each receive $30,000, with each sister getting $9,546 from the net settlement amount of $139,092.
    Case number: 12-C-217

    Oct. 25
    James B. Hudson, as Administrator of Estate of Pauline D. Hudson, Petitions For Approval And Confirmation Of A Confidential Settlement
    PA- J. Robert Rogers; J- William S. Thompson
    * Pauline Hudson died Nov. 26, 2010, while a patient in Boone Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. Six sons and a daughter consented to a confidential settlement agreement with the Danville facility and are entitled shares of her estate. Judge William S. Thompson entered his sealed order Nov. 7 approving confidential settlement and distribution.
    Case number: 12-C-223

    Bruce Mitchell vs. Brady Mining, LLC
    PA- J. Kristofer Cormany, Pamela A. Lambert; J- William S. Thompson
    * Mitchell accuses defendant employer of allowing underground mantrip to be operated at dangerously high speed when transporting personnel throughout its Number One Mine in Boone County. Late in October 2010, according to the complaint, Mitchell was thrown into the mantrip canopy because of a forman’s operation at high speed and he suffered severe permanent injuries to his lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine. He wants a jury to determine an amount for past, present and future economic and non-economic damages; general and compensatory damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, court costs, and other relief deemed proper and just.
    Case number: 12-C-224

    Oct. 26
    Robert M. Belcher vs. Alpha Natural Resources and Elk Run Coal Co.
    PA- Todd S. Bailess, Joy B. Mega; J- William S. Thompson
    * Belcher demands a jury trial for damages, charging coal company employers with terminating him last August because of his age. Suit says he was 36 years old when hired and 46 when terminated in violation of the West Virginia Human Rights Act. He says he was wrongly accused of violating company policy for which another employee took responsibility. He wants remedies afforded under WVHRA, with punitive damages, lost wages and benefits, back and front pay, pre- and post-judgment interest, court costs, and such other relief deemed just and equitable.
    Case number: 12-C-225

    Nov. 2
    Branch Banking & Trust Co vs. Suzanne Kessler
    PA- Norman T. Daniels; J- William S. Thompson
    * BB&T says Kessler defaulted on a contract and security agreement financing a 2007 Ford Mustang by failing to keep up monthly installment payments. Bank wants possession of the vehicle, plus “full payment of the unpaid balance of the amount originally financed…”
    Case number: 12-C-229

    Nov. 7
    Deborah and Harold Powell vs. Westfield Insurance Co., Donna Cutwright and John Doe
    PA- Matthew M. Hatfield; J- William S. Thompson
    * Complaint wants jury to affirm couple’s entitlement of $200,000 single limits uninsured motorist coverage from Westfield relative to October 2011 rear-end collision in which unknown driver of trailing vehicle, “John Doe,” fled scene near Alum Creek. Cartwright is described as “a servant, agent and employee” of Westfield. Deborah Powell was operating a 2004 model vehicle on US 119 from her Danville residence to place of employment in Charleston when the alleged accident took place. The insurer offered $12,500 to settle “uninsured motorist bodily injury claim,” the suit says. Westfield says it later offered $22,500, but Powells seek $200,000 award, plus litigation expenses, compensatory and punitive damages, pre-judgment interest, and such other just and proper relief.
    Case number: 12-C-230

    Nov. 16
    Peachtree Settlement Funding, LLC Petition for Approval of a Transfer of Structured Settlement Payment Rights by Destiny Malcolm
    PA- Jason L. Long, Michael R. Proctor; J- William S. Thompson
    * Funds involved stem from insurance settlement agreement and release of personal injury claim. Hearing on petition before Judge William S. Thompson held Dec. 12.
    Case number: 12-C-233

    Nov. 26
    Vanderbilt Mortgage & Finance, Inc. vs. Roger W. Reed
    PA- Marc B. Lazenby; J- William S. Thompson
    * Suit says Seth resident is past due from last July on payments for a $39,725 loan to purchase a mobile home. Vanderbilt seeks immediate possession of unit in curing loan default.
    Case number: 12-C-234

    Oleta Ruth and Darrell Spurlock vs. Richard Smith and Boone County Ambulance Authority
    PA- Harry M. Hatfield; J- William S. Thompson
    * Danville couple’s personal injury suit says Smith was at fault fast April when ambulance he was driving struck their van on US 119, causing guest passenger Oleta “serious and permanent bodily injuries.” Spurlocks seek jury judgment, joint and severally, for an amount in excess of jurisdictional limits, as well as general damages, their court costs, pre- and post-judgment interest, and further proper and just relief.
    Case number: 12-C-235

    Nov. 28
    Catherine A. Bail vs. Kroger Limited Partnership I
    PA- Gerald R. Lacy, Gara Hoke Lacy; J- William S. Thompson
    * Personal injury complaint says Ball fell while shopping at Danville Kroger store because “of a slippery substance in the aisle floor.” She claims store’s negligence and carelessness caused her to incur medical expenses for injuries, some permanent. Suit seeks jury judgment in an amount in excess of jurisdictional limits to include general and special damages, pre-judgment interest, litigation expenses, and such other relief deemed just and proper.
    Case number: 12-C-237


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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. 14 against Elk Run and parent company Alpha Natural Resources, Inc.

    Holsten was employed by Elk Run from Jan. 1, 2003, until Jan. 29, 2011, the complaint says, when injured by a “rib roll on an improperly supported roof.” According to Holsten, he was working in the mine’s No. 2 pillar section that day. As he and a miner helper checked a leaking boom swing hose, a rib rolled and struck his lower left leg, he says.

    The contends the coal company knew of the specific unsafe working condition, which violated state or federal safety regulations. Holsten expended large sums of money for medical and hospital treatment, the suit says, including leg amputation and he requires future care because his injuries are permanent and lasting.

    Jury trial before Judge William S. Thompson will demand compensatory, general and punitive damages, along with litigation costs and any other relief the Court finds allowable by law.

    Case number 13-C-3


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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 Contract Services, Inc.; and Westmoreland Coal Co.
    PA- Allan N. Kariin; J- William S. Thompson
    * Veteran disabled coal miner, age 66, directs his personal injury suit against companies that employed him underground. Waddells say Earl worked “in positions that regularly exposed him to substantial amounts of respirable dust, including coal dust and crystalline silica, which are known to cause respiratory disease including simple coal workers’ pneumoconiosis… bronchitis, emphysema, simple silicosis, complicated silicosis, and other respiratory diseases.” He complains he was “exposed to dangerous levels of respirable dust” in excess of levels permitted under applicable law and industry standards. Suit seeks compensatory damages for loss of consortium and services, punitive damages, litigation costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and such other relief from discovery at trial.
    Case number: 12-C-240

    Dec. 7
    Justin A. Smith vs. David Stanley Consultants, LLC; Elk Run Coal Co., Inc.; Alpha Natural Resources Services, LLC; and Alpha Natural Resources, Inc.
    PA- John J. Polak, Paul Frampton Jr., Matthew M. Hatfield, Harry M. Hatfield; J- William S. Thompson
    * Defendants willfully, maliciously and unlawfully terminated Smith following two months employment at Black King Mine because he suffered “a compensable injury” and attempted to receive workers’ compensation benefits, the complaint alleges. The plaintiff seeks lost wages and benefits, back and front pay, personal and punitive damages, pre-judgment interest, court expenses and such other relief deemed just and equitable.
    Case number: 12-C-242

    Dec. 11
    Josh D. Chafin vs. Brody Mining, LLC
    PA- Mark A. Atkinson, Paul L. Frampton; J- William S. Thompson
    * The complaint says Chafin was injured last April working at a Brody mine in Boone County, then filed a workers’ compensation claim ruled compensable. On or about Aug. 2, he was terminated by “unlawful retaliatory discharge,” he claims. Chafin seeks jury judgment for lost wages and benefits, back and front pay, personal and punitive damages, pre-judgment interest, court costs and such further relief deemed just and equitable.
    Case number: 12-C-244

    Dec. 14

    Green Tree Servicing, LLC vs. Dean and Penny Olson
    PA- Jason S. Long, Michael Proctor; J- William S. Thompson
    * Sylvester couple is accused of defaulting their July 1999 installment contract in principal amount of $41,242 for a manufactured home. Green Tree asks court to grant right of immediate possession of the unit as contracted collateral.
    Case number: 12-C-247

    Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc. vs. Patricia G. Meeks
    PA- Marc B. Lazenby; J- William S. Thompson
    * Vanderbilt cites a December 2008 Deed of Trust on file conveying property at Nellis by Defendant to Casie McGee to secure Plaintiff’ss loan of $50,753. Meeks, also known as Patricia Dotson, subsequently defaulted on loan payments to Vanderbilt, the complaint says, and a foreclosure sale’s high bid of $31,500 conveyed Ridgeview Road property to Plaintiff. Defendant allegedly refuses to vacate and Vanderbilt seeks Court order requiring her to leave, plus obtain such further appropriate relief.
    Case number: 12-C-248


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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 their complaint filed Nov. 26 in Boone Circuit Court, the Spurlocks, residents of Danville, allege they were sent to the hospital last year after an ambulance collided with their van.

    According to the suit, about 4:30 p.m. on April 18, Darrell, 79, was driving their Dodge van on U.S. 119 near the four-way intersection at Danville Mountain. Oleta, 76, was a passenger in the front seat.

    Around the same time, the suit maintains, an ambulance driven by Richard Smith, who is named as co-defendant, came through the intersection, and struck the Spurlock’s van. Though no specifics are provided where the ambulance struck the van, the suit claims it the impact was with “such great force and violence” that it “did cause serious and permanent bodily injuries to [Oleta] Spurlock.”

    The extent of Oleta’s injuries are not specified in the suit. However, Spurlock maintains she has to “spend great sums of money for her medical care and attention” and has sustained both “great physical pain and mental suffering” and “a loss of enjoyment of life.”

    In addition to his, the suit says Darrell has had to cope with Oleta’s injuries. This includes furnishing her with in-home nursing services.

    The Spurlocks seek unspecified damages, courts costs, attorneys and interest. They are represented by Madison attorney Harry M. Hatfield.

    The case is assigned to Judge William S. Thompson.


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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 in Westminster, Calif., and her family members “advanced certain funds… for purposes of starting a nail salon.”

    The couple met in Hawaii in November 2011.

    Attorney Peter A. Hendricks, of Madison, filed the woman’s complaint Jan. 17 in Boone Circuit Court, giving her address as South Charleston, with Ngoc listed on Mall Road in Danville, where the contested business is located.

    The Phams returned to West Virginia in late May, says the complaint, beginning interior construction for a nail salon.

    The plaintiff’s family advanced money, the complaint continues, reliant upon the “parties’ marriage as well as their representations… and endeavors to establish and maintain a partnership in a nail salon operation at Danville.”

    Licenses and leases were placed in Ngoc’s name, according to the complaint, after remodeling and product costs amounted to more than $30,000. With “all of the monies… loans from various family members of Plaintiff in reliance upon the marital ceremony with the understanding that the parties were married and further induced by the representations and acknowledgment… they were to engage in a partnership in a nail salon business.”

    The complaint says the nail salon flourished before “Defendant began to remove funds from the business to pursue a gambling habit.”

    A situation developed wherein the defendant removed Pham from the business “under a pretense of a domestic violence petition, then declared that they were not married because no marriage license (was) executed… The parties were never married and there was no business partnership,” the complaint relates.

    Pham contends she was forced to work away from the Danville salon and then was fired from a Charleston position when Defendant led friends to believe she would “steal (from) employees and patrons” where she was employed.

    She complains that being removed from the Danville business and losing her Charleston job financially devastated her, forcing her to leave West Virginia and join her family in California.

    Included in Plaintiff’s prayer is that the court declare “a partnership in fact or by equity exists,” then dissolve it by selling all assets and good will, with proceeds divided. She seeks general, compensatory and punitive damages with interest and litigation expenses.

    Judge William S. Thompson scheduled a hearing for Feb. 5 on the woman’s motion for injunctive relief.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 13-C-12


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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 a September 2011 collision that Harvey Trucking claims was caused by a CSX truck. The complaint says its driver notified other potential users of a narrow, steep coal mine haul road near Ashford by CB radio not to come uphill until he completed his downhill trip. That was done, Harvey Trucking says, as a standing communication procedure. CSX failed to furnish Doe with a CB radio, according to the suit, which caused the trucks to collide in a steep curve, resulting in truck damages, lost profits and injuries. Plaintiff also wants court costs and any other appropriate relief.
    Case number: 13-C-13

    Jan. 23
    Dwayne Johnston vs. Parsley Enterprises, Inc., and Newhall Contracting, Inc.
    PA- Kendal E. Partlow; J- William S. Thompson
    *The Logan County resident says his one-month employment was ended in February 2011 by unlawful retaliatory discharge because he filed for and received Workers’ Compensation benefits following a work-related injury in Boone County. Johnston complains his injury on Feb. 7, 2011, prevented him from working, and when he contacted his employer approximately 10 days later to go back to the job, he was terminated. He says state common law and the Human Rights Act were violated, prompting him to seek jury judgment for lost wages and benefits; back and front pay; general and punitive damages; pre-judgment interest; court expense; and such further relief just and equitable.
    Case number: 13-C-14

    Jan. 28
    Vanderbilt Mortgage & Finance, Inc. vs. Claude Hunter
    PA- Jason S. Long, Denise M. Spatafore; J- William S. Thompson
    *The Tennessee-based financial firm complains Hunter defaulted on his $23,930 retail installment contract on a 1998 manufactured home and wants assistance to repossess the unit as security interest collateral.
    Case number: 13-C-16


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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 of other underground equipment when in February 2011, the roof bolter struck him, resulting in severe and permanent injuries. Jerace was employed by Newhall at Brady’s mine near Wharton in Boone County. He accuses the defendants of failing to follow proper state and federal safety regulations and demands judgment, jointly and severally, for a jury award in excess of the court’s minimum jurisdiction. Jerace also seeks pre- and post-judgment interest, court costs and all other relief deemed proper and just.
    Case number: 13-C-25

    Feb. 8
    Corey Lovejoy and Connie Lovejoy vs. Caterpillar, Inc. and Cecil I. Walker Machinery Co.
    PA- Edward G. Atkins; J- William S. Thompson
    * Product liability suit alleges an October incident at Black Castle Mining Co. location in Boone County in which Lovejoy was using a lifting aid known as a “sling” on a bulldozer blade component. The complaint says Caterpillar manufactured the sling, which was distributed by Walker and used with a crane that separated, allowing the dozer to fall and cause injury to Lovejoy’s right foot. Defendants are accused of furnishing and marketing a defective and dangerous sling. Lovejoy seeks jury judgment for an amount sufficient to compensate for his injuries, pre-judgment interest, and all court costs. His wife Connie also demands the same awards.
    Case number: 13-C-26

    Kimberly Stewart vs. Lowe’s Home Centers, Inc. and Lowe’s HIW, Inc.
    PA- Matthew M. Hatfield; J- William S. Thompson
    * Stewart brings personal injury suit because, as a customer at Lowe’s South Charleston store in late March 2011, she was struck by a piece of fencing and/or lumber being loaded by a John Doe, she says. The Alum Creek resident claims she suffered serious and permanent bodily injuries because of “carelessness, recklessness and negligence.” She seeks judgment, jointly and severally, for an amount in excess of court jurisdictional limits for compensatory, special and general damages, together with litigation expenses, pre- and post-judgment interest and just and proper further relief. Total amount awarded, under no circumstances, is not to reach or exceed the federal jurisdictional $75,000, the complaint requests.
    Case number: 13-C-27

    Feb. 12
    Donna J. Moore vs. Boone County Board of Education and Vanessa D. Kinchen
    PA- Marvin W. Masters, April D. Ferrebee; J- William S. Thompson
    * Moore demands a jury trial to determine personal injury awards resulting from an alleged head-on collision with a school bus driven by Kinchen in March 2011 on Middle White Oak Road at Peytona. She charges defendants with “negligence, carelessness, recklessness and lack of due care” in causing the accident, leaving her with temporary and permanent injuries. Moore expects judgment for award in excess of jurisdictional amount, together with pre- and post-judgment interest, court costs and any other relief deemed just and fair.
    Case number: 13-C-28

    Feb. 14
    Carlos Privett and Melinda Privett vs. Mine Safety Appliances Co., Persinger Supply Co., Raleigh Mine and Industrial Supply Co. and Eastern States Mine Supply Co.
    PA- G. Todd Houck; J- William S. Thompson
    * Hidden defects and inadequate warnings with use of respirators for protection against harmful dust are blamed for Privett developing the occupational disease known as “black lung.” He worked approximately 42 years for numerous coal-producing companies that used respirators manufactured by MSA and marketed and distributed by co-defendants named in his product liability suit. The Beckley couple seek jury awards, jointly and severally, for compensatory damages, punitive damages only against MSA, court expenses, pre- and post-judgment interest and all further relief to which they’re entitled. The complaint says Melinda Privett is entitled to recover damages for loss of affection, care, society, companionship and consortium.
    Case number: 13-C-30


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    Grubb

    Grubb

    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. The defendant is Frasure Creek Mining, LLC, d/b/a Trinity Coal Corp.

    Angel represents that an X-ray and pulmonary function test on Sept. 13, showed a lymph node abnormality “compatible with borderline occupational pneumoconiosis,” although further testing would be necessary to rule out sarcoidosis or nonspecific interstitial disease.

    Angel began employment with Frasure Creek about Sept. 14 and worked three days, according to complaint.

    On Sept. 17, the complaint says, Angel’s superintendent told him he needed to have a CT scan follow up on “something” found in his pre-employment lab work. Also, he would need a release from his doctor to return to work. A scan was done that same day and a work release given, Angel relates.

    A pulmonary specialist examined him Sept. 20, the complaint continues, and advised that a medastinoscopy would be beneficial to obtain a tissue sample. A follow-up appointment was scheduled and the doctor provided a return to work slip. Angels says he returned to his surface maintenance crew work Sept. 21-23.

    He received a phone call while driving to work the next day, Angel says, from a company human resources representative, Ty Coleman, informing him the work release turned in was “not good enough” and he needed a different kind of document.

    According to the complaint, Coleman was quoted as saying “that’s not a risk we’re taking” in reference to Angel’s medical test results.

    Following additional procedures, Plaintiff’s doctor diagnosed him with mild sarcoidosis, prescribed oral steroids and “provided a letter indicating that Plaintiff was medically cleared for work as a coal miner, without limitations,” Angel says.

    After he worked about an hour-and-a-half on Oct. 5, the complaint continues, Coleman told him to leave the premises because he “never worked here.”

    After explaining he had received two paychecks, Angel was still ordered to leave, it is alleged.

    Angel contends that at no time did he have any symptoms related to his lung condition and his pre-employment pulmonary function test was normal.

    He accuses Frasure Creek Mining of disability discrimination under the West Virginia Human Rights Act, among other things, and seeks jury awards of compensatory and punitive damages, litigation costs, pre- and post-judgment interest, plus further appropriate relief.

    He also asks for a permanent injunction ordering Defendant “to establish an ongoing training program for their employees on the subject of unlawful employment discrimination.”

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

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 13-C-23


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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 years, Kincaid says the defendants manufactured, sold and distributed defective respirators that exposed him to harmful dust leading to advanced lung disease. His product liability suit includes wife Darlene’s claim of loss of consortium. The suit says MSA respirators that were used leaked substantial amounts of harmful dust “undetectable by the human senses” and caused his black lung disease. Kincaid wants a jury to award compensatory damages, jointly and severally, punitive damages only from MSA, court costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and further relief to which Plaintiffs are entitled.
    Case number: 13-C-31

    Daniel and Donna Toler 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
    *Oceana resident Toler worked some 26 years in coal mines, saying he developed black lung disease caused by hidden defects with inadequate warnings in MSA respirators provided.
    Case number: 13-C-32

    Sammy and Wanda Mendez 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
    * Mendez alleges he developed black lung disease because of the defendants’ actions.
    Case number: 13-C-33

    Dreama Adkins vs. T & C Excavating, Inc. and President Jason Moore
    PA- Harry M. Hatfield; J- William S. Thompson
    * Adkins claims she stopped her car, preparing to make a left turn from W.Va. Route 85 onto Benjamin Price Bridge in Madison when she was struck from behind by Moore’s pickup truck. Her personal injury suit says she suffered serious and permanent injuries from the alleged collision in October 2011 that totaled her vehicle. The complaint seeks jury judgment against Moore and his company for an amount in excess of jurisdictional limits, with compensatory, special and general damages, her court expenses, pre- and post-judgment interest, plus other proper relief.
    Case number: 13-C-34

    Feb. 15
    Larry and Tomma Johnson vs. Mountain Edge Mining, Inc.
    PA- William M. Tiano; J- William S. Thompson
    * Bloomingrose couple wants a jury to determine adequate compensation awards for May 2011 injuries Larry Johnson allegedly suffered in Mountain Edge’s Dorothy No. 3 Mine, when the drive shaft broke on a mantrip he was riding and the machine’s brakes failed to work. The personal injury suit says Johnson “traveled approximately 200 feet backwards and hit the rib of the mine to get stopped.” Wife Tomma has been deprived of consortium, the complaint contends. Couple asks for pre- and post-judgment interest and litigation expenses along with other general relief deemed applicable.
    Case number: 13-C-36


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  • 09/19/13--10:59: 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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    The Jarrell Family Cemetery. Photo courtesy of Vivian Stockman/www.ohvec.org. Flyover courtesy of SouthWings.org.

    The Jarrell Family Cemetery. Photo courtesy of Vivian Stockman/www.ohvec.org. Flyover courtesy of SouthWings.org.

    MADISON – A lawsuit was filed on Aug. 22 in Boone Circuit Court by the family members of the deceased buried in the Jarrell Family Cemetery above Lindytown.

    The lawsuit is aimed at repairing and protecting the cemetery from further desecration, according to a press release issued by the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.

    The family members worked with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and coal companies to try to obtain the protections the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act affords, according to the press release.

    The operation, known as the Twilight Surface Mine complex, was once owned by Massey Energy and is now owned by Alpha Natural Resources.

    As the Twilight operation grew bigger, the community of Lindytown vanished, the press release states.

    “This mountaintop removal mine forced people away from their beloved town in the hollers of Boone County,” Nada Cook-White said in the press release. “This cemetery is some of the only remaining evidence that Lindytown ever existed. This is a place of vital importance to our cultural heritage. The people buried there tell the history of the town and its families.”

    Despite the years of efforts the families made to protect the cemetery, damage continues, according to the press release.

    In mid-summer, several family members made official arrangements with Alpha Natural Resources and Independence Coal Company to be allowed access to the cemetery.

    By law, mining is not to be done within 100 feet of the cemetery’s boundaries, the press release stated.

    To visit family cemeteries in the midst of mountaintop removal operations, family members must put in a request with the mine’s safety coordinator, they say.

    The company has 10 days to respond by offering a date on which it will allow the visit.

    On that day, family members undergo safety training at the mine’s guard shack. In order to meet the qualifications listed on the safety training form, which people must sign, visitors are supposed to have steel-toed boots that meet Mine Safety and Health Administration standards, as well as a hard hat and safety-stripes vest.

    The company does not supply these items; those without the safety gear can be asked to leave, the press release said.

    Visitors must also show photo ID, which the company photocopies. Visitors are asked to fill in papers with personal information, such as address, phone number and even social security number.

    Before anyone is allowed to access the cemetery, visitors are asked to give their cameras to the guards to hold, which family members believe is to prevent them from documenting any damages.

    Once all the requirements are met, mine employees escort family members to the cemetery and keep them under surveillance while they visit, allowing them at most only two hours.

    The plaintiffs have each agreed that any proceeds that would come from a potential settlement will go into a fund to repair and maintain the Jarrell Cemetery.

    “People living in communities where extractive industries have desecrated family cemeteries have reached out to OVEC for support and we have networked them with people and resources that can help,” said Robin Blakeman, a faith-based liaison and organizer with the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition. “While OVEC is never involved in personal lawsuits, we are proud to see that these families are taking a firm stand.”


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    Boone Memorial Hospital

    Boone Memorial Hospital

    MADISON – A Danville woman is suing Boone Memorial Hospital after she claims she was injured while on the hospital’s premises.

    On April 3, Delilah “Janey” Griffis was coming to Boone Memorial Hospital with her brother, who was entering the hospital through the emergency room, according to a complaint filed Nov. 1 in Boone Circuit Court.

    Griffis claims it was nearly 9 p.m. when she was coming from the parking lot adjacent to the area near the emergency room entrance and she slipped, tripped and fell coming down a sloped area with no markings and tripped on an uneven sidewalk that does not meet applicable safety codes.

    Because of the fall, Griffis was severely injured and hospitalized from several weeks, according to the suit.

    Griffis claims the harm was foreseeable and the defendant negligently and carelessly failed to maintain the walkway, causing severe and debilitating injury all without any fault of the part of the plaintiff.

    The defendant’s actions were negligent in failing to maintain its premises in a reasonably safe condition and in failing to exercise due care in maintenance and inspection of the premises, according to the suit.

    Griffis claims the defendant also failed to adequately train its personnel in the appropriate methods to inspect and maintain the premises and failed to warn of the hazards which the defendant knew or should have had knowledge of.

    As a direct and proximate result of the negligence and carelessness of the defendant, Griffis continues to suffer bodily injuries requiring medical treatment and related expenses; physical pain and suffering; mental anguish; emotional distress; a diminution in the ability to enjoy life; lost wages; and general damages, according to the suit.

    Griffis is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is being represented by Kathy A. Brown of Kathy Brown Law PLLC and Valentina Wheeler of Wheeler Law Firm.

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 13-C-230


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    Brown

    Brown

    MADISON – A Princeton woman is suing Kristi Enterprises LLC after she claims she was subjected to a sexually harassing and hostile working environment.

    Terry Sanders was also named as a defendant in the suit.

    Karie Puffenbarger was employed at Kristi Enterprises as a video lottery attendant from approximately November 2011 until May, according to a complaint filed Nov. 1 in Boone Circuit Court.

    Puffenbarger claims Sanders, who was her supervisor overseeing day-to-day operations at Kristi’s Princeton location, was her direct supervisor.

    Shortly after Puffenbarger began working for the defendants, she was subject to a sexually harassing and hostile environment created by Sanders, according to the suit.

    Puffenbarger claims on multiple occasions, Sanders would gesture, grab and rub on customers, as well as make explicit comments to them and in front of them.

    Kristi’s failed to remediate, correct and/or eliminate the sexually harassing environment created by Sanders, according to the suit.

    Puffenbarger claims Kristi’s knew and/or should have known of the sexual harassing environment, as the main source of the inappropriate behavior originated by its supervisor in charge.

    The environment caused and/or contributed to Puffenbarger feeling disgusted, afraid, ashamed, distressed, upset and confused, according to the suit.

    Puffenbarger claims the defendants violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act and caused her to suffer indignity, embarrassment and mental anguish.

    Puffenbarger is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Kathy A. Brown of Kathy Brown Law PLLC and Valentina Wheeler of Wheeler Law Firm.

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

    Boone Circuit Court case number: 13-C-231


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    Workman

    Workman

    CHARLESTON – A husband separated from his wife who was living in a camper on their property was not technically “living with” his wife, the state Supreme Court has ruled, and one justice is disappointed in a state agency’s representation by the Attorney General’s Office.

    The court on Nov. 6 ruled for Patricia Hudson, a Boone County woman who was receiving food stamps and classified as a separated spouse in a one-person household. The state Department of Health and Human Resources argued that was not the case and wanted repayment of nearly $2,000 in food stamp benefits received from May 2010 to September 2011.

    “This Court finds that DHHR failed to prove that the petitioner and Mr. Hudson lived together during the 17-month time period of the overpayment claim, and that the claim should have been dismissed at the conclusion of DHHR’s evidence,” Justice Margaret Workman wrote for the majority.

    “Even assuming, arguendo, that the DHHR’s evidence was sufficient to shift the burden of proof to the petitioner, the petitioner’s evidence was overwhelming and established that DHHR’s action was incorrect.”

    In May 2010, Hudson listed on an application for food stamps that she was the sole resident in her home and had no income other than her own. She began receiving $146 per month.

    Previously, Hudson had ordered her husband Harold out of the house because of his drinking, the opinion says. She told him he was welcome back whenever he quit, it adds.

    Harold lived in a camper owned by his brother on Patricia’s property. Though they were married, Harold’s name was not on the deed.

    While living in the camper, Harold ran an extension cord from Patricia’s house for power, the opinion says. He reimbursed her for the amount of electricity he used, and his name wasn’t taken off the utility bills.

    Patricia said Harold never set foot in the house again. He even showered at his daughter’s house.

    Eventually, Harold moved out of the camper and lived with family members, though Patricia drove him to doctor’s appointments.

    A DHHR worker noticed the trips to the doctor and that Harold still had the same physical address as Patricia. He listed the address on his driver’s license when he renewed it, but only because he was not allowed to use his P.O. box.

    The DHHR sent Patricia a notice of overpayment of $1,985, and she requested a hearing. The opinion says her representative attempted to retrieve her file three times unsuccessfully, so Patricia staged a mini sit-in at the DHHR office for several hours until she was given her file.

    At a hearing, Stephen M. Baisden, a state hearing officer, ruled the two shared utilities, the property and liquid assets (a joint bank account).

    After an appeal, the Kanawha County Circuit Court affirmed DHHR’s overpayment claim, ruling it is “logical to conclude that Petitioner and her spouse lived in the same household.”

    The state Supreme Court overturned the decision. It ruled that the notice of overpayment sent to Patricia was inadequate.

    However, that isn’t enough to dismiss the overpayment claim, the court ruled.

    The court also found DHHR obstructed her right of access to the file, but since she was not prejudiced by it, the overpayment claim can’t be dismissed on that argument.

    Workman wrote that no reasonable factfinder could determine that the two lived together during the time period in question.

    “The undisputed evidence was that Mr. Hudson had no access to the petitioner’s home, even during the four months he lived in the camper, and no access to the telephone,” Workman wrote.

    “Only by applying an irrebutable ‘same address’ presumption – which both the hearing examiner and the circuit court appear to have done – could this evidence be deemed sufficient to establish that the petitioner and Mr. Hudson lived together.”

    Justice Allen Loughry authored a concurring opinion. In it, he deems both the investigation of the DHHR and the efforts of its attorney as unsatisfactory.

    DHHR was represented by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s office.

    “The case at bar presented this Court with an opportunity to write in an area of the law that had not been previously addressed,” Loughry wrote.

    Loughry

    Loughry

    “Generally, in such a case, one would expect each side to file a well-researched brief containing a thorough discussion of the relevant law as it related to the party’s respective position on the issues to be considered on appeal.

    “For reasons that are not readily, the DHHR chose, instead, to file a three-and-a-half-page summary response.

    “(T)he DHHR’s summary response fails to contain even a single citation to any legal authority or to the record. As a result, the DHHR disappointingly offered very little to support its position in this matter.”

    Patricia Hudson was represented by Bruce Perrone of Legal Aid of West Virginia.

    From the West Virginia Record: Reach John O’Brien at jobrienwv@gmail.com.