BUCKHANNON - An Upshur Circuit Court judge recently ordered two sides involved in a lawsuit that stems from alleged excessive noise and dust on roads near the Sago mine to stop bickering and keep the roads open.
Judge Thomas Keadle granted preliminary injunctions against Thomas Bacorn, International Coal Group, Wolf Run Mining Company and two trucking companies.
International Coal Group and Wolf Run own the Sago mine where, in January, 12 workers died following an explosion that left them trapped underground. The incident received national attention and is the subject of two wrongful deaths suits that were recently filed on behalf of the estates of Marty Bennett and James Bennett. The lone survivor, Randal McCloy, also filed suit over his medical bills and pain and suffering.
Bacorn's suit, which also lists Timothy and Carla McCoy as plaintiffs, was filed July 14 and accuses the defendants of impeding on the property of those who live around the Sago and Imperial mines.
Bacorn owns approximately six acres of land between the mines and says truck noise and coal dust are becoming a problem. He seeks compensation for damages and a halt to all mining activities.
Since the opening of the Sago mine in 2000, the plaintiffs allege that each of the their properties has been subjugated to white gravel and black coal dust deposits. The plaintiffs argue that their property values have consequently declined.
Bacorn states that employees of the defendants, including the owner of Winjean and H.W.M. Truck Lines, verbally assaulted and intimidated him along Sago Road earlier this year. Bacorn also claims the defendants wrongfully imprisoned him with coal trucks in an effort to intimidate him.
The plaintiffs allege the defendants are in violation of the West Virginia Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Act.
The defendants reportedly accused Bacorn of routinely being drunk and making rude hand gestures to their workers and attempts to be hit by their trucks.
For now, the roads will remain open and the two sides are not to fight outside of a courtroom.
William Ford III is representing the plaintiffs.
Upshur Circuit Court case number 06-C-91