Supreme Court to review order erasing Raleigh flood verdict

By Steve Korris | Nov 19, 2007

CHARLESTON - The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has agreed to review an order wiping out a Raleigh County verdict against Western Pocahontas Properties for causing damage in a flood six years ago.

Circuit Judge John Hutchison rejected the verdict this year after deciding that he allowed jurors to hear inflammatory testimony.

Hutchison held trial in March 2006 with multitudes of plaintiffs and defendants.

Defendants settled out of the trial one by one, leaving Western Pocahontas Properties as the sole defendant when the trial ended.

Jurors found the defendant liable but did not award damages. New jurors in a second trial would have awarded damages.

Charleston lawyers Stuart Calwell and Scott Segal, representing separate groups of plaintiffs, petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeals to review Hutchison's order.

Chief Justice Robin Davis, Segal's wife, disqualified herself. Justice Brent Benjamin, a former law partner of a defense attorney, also disqualified himself.

On Nov. 7, the remaining three Justices granted the petitions.

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