Salvage yard named in 40 suits about metal shredder

CHARLESTON – Flecks of former automobiles and appliances fall on Glasgow like rain, according to 40 lawsuits in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Neighbors seek damages from a Riverside salvage yard, RJ Recycling, claiming its metal shredding machines pollute the neighborhood and diminish property values.

John Skaggs of the Calwell Practice in Charleston filed the suits Dec. 31, identifying RJ Recycling as an Ohio corporation with an office in Nitro.

Each suit alleged that "various substances are released as waste, exhaust, fallout, and other byproducts at the facility."

Fallout continues to settle on homes and vehicles, Skaggs wrote.

"This fallout has caused and continues to cause damage to plaintiff property, reducing the value of said property," he wrote.

Neighbors also seek damages from property owner Poor Charlie and Company.

"Before leasing the property to RJ Recycling, Poor Charlie and Company operated a large salvage yard on the same site for many years," Skaggs wrote.

As an experienced operator, he wrote, Poor Charlie and Company should have known RJ Recycling would pollute the neighborhood and constitute a nuisance.

"The property continues to be contaminated with pollution generated during the years of Poor Charlie and Company's operations," Skaggs wrote.

He wrote that conduct of the defendants constituted a tort of trespass and reduced the rights of his clients to use and enjoy their properties.

He claimed emotional distress.

He wrote that defendants violated West Virginia statutes, regulations and permits. He wrote that statutes, regulations and permits were designed to prevent the type of damages his clients suffered.

He sought compensation for property damage, restoration costs, lost value, trespass, nuisance, annoyance, diminished quality of life, and loss of enjoyment.

He sought punitive damages for gross fraud, malice, oppression, and "reprehensible, intentional and grossly negligent course of conduct."

He sought further punitive damages for wanton, willful, or reckless conduct and criminal indifference to civil obligations affecting rights of others.

He petitioned for an injunction to alleviate, mitigate and remediate the nuisance.

Patrick Jacobs of Charleston also signed the complaints.

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