MOUNDSVILLE – Two Marshall County landowners are suing over claims they were induced to sign an easement contract through a fraudulent stipulation.

John R. and Grace L. Bonar filed a lawsuit Oct. 14 in Marshall Circuit Court against Chevron USA Inc., citing fraud.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs entered into a contract with the defendants on Oct. 17, 2013, for right-of-way and easement option which granted Chevron a 50-foot wide right-of-way on the Bonar property in Marshall County with an additional 25 feet of work space as needed during periods of construction but required them to obtain written approval of the location of any pipeline or above-the-surface structures.

The complaint states Chevron placed a pipeline without obtaining the plaintiffs' approval in addition to a surface valve in a location that interferes with the plaintiffs' enjoyment of their property but when they complained, Chevron refused to move it. According to the lawsuit, Chevron stated in a communication with the plaintiffs that it would have placed the surface valve in its current location had the plaintiffs raised objections beforehand.

The Bonars say Chevron also has exceeded its right of way, causing damage to a pond on the property, including the animal life in it. Chevron is accused of fraud in inducing the Bonars to sign the contract with the belief that they would have approval power of the location of structures on their property, breach of contract and trespass/fault-based claim.

The Bonars seek the rescission of the easement contract, the removal of the pipeline and related structures, the restoration of the property, compensatory and punitive damages and attorney fees.

They are represented by attorneys Anthony I. Werner and Joseph J. John of John and Werner Law Offices in Wheeling. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David W. Hummel.

Marshall Circuit Court case number: 14-C-166

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