Couples say coal company wrecked their land

By John O'Brien | Jun 29, 2006

MOUNDSVILLE - Two Marshall County couples say a coal company damaged their property while it performed a long-wall mining operation.

John Bungard and Judith Bungard filed their lawsuit June 14 in Marshall Circuit Court against Consolidation Coal Co., doing business as Shoemaker Coal Mine. Edwin and Vernelle McGlumphy filed theirs June 23.

They say their properties and buildings contained on them in Dallas, W. Va., were damaged.

"As a direct and proximate reuslt of the long-wall mining conducted by the defendant, the plaintiffs suffered damages, all of which are continuing in nature, including: Damage to all permanent buildings and fixtures located on said property; a functional impairment of their surface lands including physical changes having a significant adverse impact on their land's current or reasonably foreseeable uses; a diminution of the total value of the property; loss of their use of their property; and annoyance and inconvenience," the Bungards' complaint says.

Both claim Consolidation Coal is in violation of the Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Act by not correcting any material damage done to the surface land or any structures located on it.

The McGlumphys say they suffered damages to their buildings and fixtures, a loss of natural supplies, a diminution of the total value of the property, a loss of the use of their property, annoyance and inconvenience and physical changes that resulted in a loss of income as they are unable to "build upon their remaining building lots and to show their home as a model log home."

Eric Gordon of Moundsville law firm Berry, Kessler, Crutchfield, Taylor and Gordon is representing the plaintiffs, who are seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Judge John Madden has been assigned both cases.

Marshall Circuit Court cases 06-C-139 and 06-C-149

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