HUNTINGTON -- A couple is suing West Virginia-American Water Company for damage they sustained to a subdivision they own.

On May 13, 2011, the defendant constructed two blow-off lines in preparation for hooking up water service to a new house being built in the subdivision owned by Earl J. Blankenship Jr. and Joyce Ann Blankenship, according to a complaint filed Jan. 13 in Cabell Circuit Court.

The Blankenships claim on June 10, 2011, Earl Blankenship called the defendant and spoke with Allen Parsley, a supervisor with the defendant, and informed him that water was running from one of the blow-off lines and Parsley advised him that the lines would be shut off.

On June 23, 2011, Earl Blankenship was contacted by Jason Adkins, who owns and lives in a house adjacent to the development property and stated that water had been flooding his property and causing significant damage and believed that their was a broken water line, according to the suit.

The Blankenships claim when Earl Blankenship and Adkins walked to the top of the hill above the property, they discovered that one of the two blow-off lines was still running and water was running at full force.

Upon further investigation, it was determined that the discharge of water for 39 days caused a slip and mass movement of the hillside above the Adkins' property, according to the suit.

The Blankenships claim the defendant failed to turn off the blow-off line and then falsely accused Earl Blankenship of having turned the water back on.

The defendant carelessly, recklessly, negligently, willfully, wantonly, maliciously and unlawfully allowed and caused its blow-off lines to discharge a large quantity if water upon the Blankenships' real estate, according to the suit.

The Blankenships are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by R.R. Fredeking II.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 12-C-33

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