Tire fire already in court

By John O'Brien | May 8, 2006

Stuart Calwell

CHARLESTON - A Nitro man has filed a lawsuit in response to a tire fire that occurred last week in Nitro that shut down the town for the better part of two days.

Stephen D. Gilliam filed the lawsuit May 5 on behalf of himself and a class of others similarly situated, leaving the door open for the case to become a class action suit.

U.S. Tire recovery, Chemvalley Properties and John Doe Waste Tire Recycling Companies are listed as the defendants.

Gilliam is represented by Stuart Calwell of Charleston law firm The Calwell Practice.

"The aforesaid accumulation and storage of as many as 50,000 used rubber tires in the aforementioned warehouse in downtown Nitro was an abnormally and unreasonably dangerous activity, due to the risk of toxic fumes and vapors it posed to the residents of Nitro should said tires catch fire," the complaint says.

Residents of the Nitro area were forced to stay in their homes to avoid breathing the byproducts of rubber tire combustion, the complaint adds.

Gilliam charges the defendants with a count of nuisance and seeks punitive damages and an order for the defendants to pay compensatory damages for diminution of property value and the loss of the right to use the property.

"Plaintiff Stephen D. Gilliam brings this suit for himself and for that class of individuals who reside in Nitro or its surrounding environs and who suffered the loss of their reasonable use and enjoyment of their property as a result of the aforementioned fire," the complaint says.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-855

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