CHARLESTON – Glasgow residents suing RJ Recycling over damage from scrap operations picked the wrong target, according to the company.
RJ Recycling moved in February to dismiss 40 Kanawha County lawsuits alleging that flecks of former automobiles and appliances fall on Glasgow like rain.
"The injuries and damages of which plaintiff complains were caused by a person or persons other than this defendant," Tanya Kesner of Charleston wrote.
Neighbors failed to mitigate their damages, she wrote.
John Skaggs of the Calwell Practice in Charleston filed the suits late last year, claiming RJ Recycling violated statutes, regulations and permits.
He wrote that RJ Recycling released various substances as waste, exhaust, fallout, and other byproducts.
"This fallout has caused and continues to cause damage to plaintiff property, reducing the value of said property," he wrote.
The suits sought compensation for property damage, restoration costs, lost value, trespass, nuisance, annoyance, diminished quality of life, and loss of enjoyment.
They sought punitive damages for gross fraud, malice, oppression, and "reprehensible, intentional and grossly negligent course of conduct." They also sought an injunction to alleviate, mitigate and remediate the nuisance.
Kesner answered that RJ Recycling breached no statute, regulation or permit. She denied that neighbors can claim punitive damages.
She asked Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib to dismiss the suits.
A second defendant, Poor Charlie and Company, had not answered as of Feb. 27.
According to Skaggs, Poor Charlie and Company operated a salvage yard on the same site for many years before leasing it to RJ Recycling.