Shopping center sues Westover, others for damaged business

By Kyla Asbury | Jul 6, 2010

MORGANTOWN -- The Westover Shopping Center is suing the City of Westover after it claims it did not take the appropriate actions after a storm water sewer line exploded.

Unknown City of Westover Businesses; Dunn Engineers, Inc.; Penn America Insurance Company; Stanley Salwach; Kate Wilkinson; Custard Insurance Adjusters; Wells Hann; and unknown employee of Penn America Insurance Group, Penn America Insurance Company, UnitedAmerica Insurance Group and Custard Insurance Adjusters were also named in the suit.

On Oct. 9, 2009, a storm sewer water line owned or controlled by the City of Westover exploded as a result of the city's negligent repair and maintenance of a known and improperly functioning storm water sewer line, according to a complaint filed May 26 in Monongalia Circuit Court.

The shopping center claims in between May and August 2009 the defendants attempted to correct a sink hole located on the adjoining property that was caused by the storm water sewer line. They claim Dunn Engineers advised the City of Westover that the storm water sewer line was plugged with dirt and rocks and in need of maintenance.

In August 2009 the City advised Westover Shopping Center that it replaced its crushed story water lines with new lines under the parking lots of the shopping center and the adjoining property owner's parking lot leading the shopping center to believe that "the City's story water lines were open, repaired and free of any problem that would cause any further sink holes and/or other problems that would result in damages" to the shopping center's property and business, according to the suit.

The shopping center claims the defendants breached their contracts and that the City did not take prompt and appropriate action to resolve the problem causing further damage to the property and loss of income.

Westover Shopping Center is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. John C. Scotchel Jr. is representing the shopping center.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 10-C-365

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