West Virginia Record

Friday, July 19, 2019

Lane landlord case settled

By Lawrence Smith | Dec 3, 2009


CHARLESTON - A landlord-tenant dispute between a Charleston woman and a Cross Lanes attorney and House of Delegates member has been successfully mediated.

Records show the suit Catherine E. Moore filed against The Lane Group in May was settled on Oct. 12. The settlement came after the case's inclusion in the previous week's SWARM.

Held the first weeks of April and October in Kanawha Circuit Court, SWARM, or Settlement Week Alternative Resolution, is a voluntary program that allows litigants an attempt to resolve their dispute with a mediator approved by the state Bar. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed in court records.

In her suit, Moore accused The Lane Group, which is exclusively owned by Patrick Lane, a Republican member of the House of Delegates from the 32nd District, of renting her a dilapidated apartment on 34th Street in Charleston on Dec. 17, 2007. Among the apartment's defects were insufficient heat, and a refrigerator that was moldy and lacked a freezer door.

When Lane refused to return her repeated calls to improve the apartment, she called the city building inspector. Records show on Feb. 28 he "declared it unfit for human habitation" citing, among other things, insufficient ventilation for a gas heater, and no smoke alarms.

In April 2008, after Lane divested himself of the property, Moore said she informed the new landlord of the inspector's findings, and moved to a new apartment on 31st Street. In addition to $2,101 in restitution for rent, cable and cleaning expenses, Moore asked she be awarded $5,000 in damages.

On June 1, Lane filed his answer to Moore's suit denying most of her allegations except that he was served with a notice of code violations by the city building inspector, and that he did sell the building, but was unaware that Moore moved out. Lane, who filed his answer pro se, asked that the suit be dismissed, and he be awarded court costs, and attorney fees.

When reached for a comment concerning the settlement, both Lane and Moore declined to comment. Lane cited a confidential provision as part of the settlement, while Moore said "That's getting a little too personal."

Kanawha Circuit Court, case number 09-C-865

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