PINEVILLE - Residents of Wyoming County are suing Dynamic Energy Inc. and Mechel Bluestone Inc. after they claim it contaminated their water and caused them damages.
Clifford Belcher and Rachel Belcher, individually and as next friends or parents of minor J.A.B.; and Clifford Belcher Jr. and Tiffany Belcher, individually and as next friends or parents of minor D.S.B.; Jimmy Blankenship, Paulette Blankenship and Ryan Blankenship; Emmett Browning and Deborah Browning; Freddie Joe Cline, individually and as next friend or parent of minors R.P.C. and J.L.C.; Sherry A. Walker, Jason Walker and Timmy L. Walker; Melissa S. Cline-Hatfield; Larry Hatfield and Frances Hatfield; Sandra K. Hatfield, individually and as next friend or parent of minors A.M.J. and A.M.J.; Kenneth Toler and Rebecca Toler, individually and as next friends or parents of minor A.T.; and Teddy M. Trent, Debra Trent and Teddy Trent Jr. depend on a water well for all their domestic needs, according to nine complaints filed May 16 in Wyoming Circuit Court.
The plaintiffs claim at some point after Dynamic Energy began operating atop Coal Mountain, the plaintiffs began to notice a gradual degradation in the quality of the water from their wells.
The citizens also began to notice a discoloration and rotten egg smell emanating from their water, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim the odor, taste and appearance of their respective well water continued to degrade to the point where they are concerned about the safety of their water.
A series of water test results during 2013, confirmed the water was not safe for human consumption because of high concentrations of heavy metals and hydrogen sulfide, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim the defendants' conduct caused damage to their real and personal property.
The defendants' mining operations have created a nuisance, which has reduced the plaintiffs' private use and enjoyment of their respective properties, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim the defendants knew or had reason to know that their activities have a significant effect on public rights.
The defendants conduct, acts and omissions was negligent and caused emotional distress, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Kevin W. Thompson and David R. Barney Jr. of Thompson Barney.
Wyoming Circuit Court case numbers: 14-C-67, 14-C-68, 14-C-69, 14-C-70, 14-C-71, 14-C-72, 14-C-73, 14-C-74, 14-C-75