MADISON -- A personal injury suit has grown from a tree that fell in the path of Alvin Ball's automobile.

Gregory Gilliam and William Aleshire, passengers in Ball's car on W.Va. 17 near Greenview in July 2008, join him in the complaint against Charles Combs, Virginia Drilling Co. LLC, Boone East Development Co. and John Does 1-5.

They say Boone East, "its agents, employees, affiliates, and assigns" failed to remove trees adjacent the roadway that pose a danger of falling, divert water in such a way to undercut root support of trees, and prevent blasting operations from damaging persons and property, according to a complaint filed July 21 in Boone Circuit Court.

The companies involved engaged in mining and timbering in the Greenview area where Ball steered his vehicle off the road to his right to avoid a fallen tree, cut back across the northbound lane and came to a stop in a ditch, where the rear of his car protruded onto the roadway. Defendant Combs was driving a truck owned by Virginia Drilling in the northbound lane opposite Ball's original direction.

The complaint says Combs' excessive speed caused a collision into the rear of Ball's stationary car, which became a total loss. The three men seek jury awards jointly and severally for compensatory damages in amounts sufficient to cover past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages, among other things, plus other relief the Court deems just and proper.

Wendle Cook represents the plaintiffs in Judge William S. Thompson's court.

Boone Circuit Court case number: 10-C-177

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