Berkeley man sues state DOT for property damage

CHARLESTON -- A Berkeley County man is suing the West Virginia Department of Transportation after he claims his property sustained more than $150,000 in damage because of the department. Paul A. Mattox Jr., secretary of Transportation/Commissioner of Highways; Darryl Parsons; and John Does 1-10, unknown employees of West Virginia Department of Transportation were also named as defendants in the suit. On June 14, 2007, Parsons and approximately 10 other employees of the defendant entered upon a portion of Robert Maguire's private property, according to a complaint filed April 13 in Kanawha Circuit Court. Maguire claims the defendants did not have written permission to enter his private property. While on the private property, the defendants unlawfully and intentionally dredged up a 250-foot portion of an unnamed tributary of Elk Branch; moved or removed much earth and rock; and destroyed trees, shrubs, grass and other vegetation on the property, according to the suit. Maguire claims the defendants knew or should have known they were on private property, which was well beyond the boundary of the state's Grecian Lane right-of-way and was marked with "No Trespassing" signs. The defendants caused significant damage to the property, according to the suit. Maguire claims the cost of restoration of the stream and its banks is estimated to be $114,210, and the cost to replace the trees, shrubs, grass and other vegetation in and around the stream is estimated to be $25,000. The defendants willfully trespassed onto Maguire's property and are liable for the damages, according to the suit. Maguire is seeking judgment in the amount of $164,210 with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Nancy L. Dalby. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster. Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-604

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