Huntington man sues neighbors for causing road to erode

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 13, 2010

HUNTINGTON -- A Huntington man is suing two of his neighbors and an unknown person after he claims they caused their shared road to erode.

Charles M. Hatcher III shares a private road with Heather Binder and Bob Kramer that is approximately one mile in length and are responsible for its maintenance and upkeep, according to a complaint filed July 19 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Hatcher claims over the past several years he has paid thousands of dollars for the maintenance and upkeep of the road, including payment for gravel, grading, clearing trees and debris, placing drainage pipes and hiring heavy equipment operators to keep the ditch line cleaned out.

On Sept. 9, 2009, Kramer and Binder hired John Doe to use a bulldozer to widen the road, according to the suit.

Hatcher claims he expressed concern that the work would cause the gravel on the road to fill up the ditch line and cause unnecessary and expedited erosion of the road.

The plaintiff told Binder and Kramer that he would like to be present when the work was performed to insure that it was being performed satisfactorily and that it would not damage the road, but the defendants had the world performed at a time that they knew Hatcher would not be there, according to the suit.

Hatcher claims Doe caused the gravel on the road to be pushed into the ditch and caused it to block the openings of the drainage pipes that he had previously placed under the road.

Because the ditch was full of gravel and the drainage pipes were clogged, water began to run off onto the road, causing excess erosion, according to the suit.

Hatcher claims Binder and Kramer assured him that the matter would be corrected "as they would remove the gravel from the ditch line, that the drainage pipes would be cleaned, that the irreparable drainage issue would be fixed by digging it out and creating a new ditch line in its location and that new gravel would be placed on the road."

In December 2009, the defendants put a limited amount of gravel on the road and assured Hatcher that they would put more gravel on in the summer, according to the suit.

Hatcher claims the defendants have refused to perform any of the remaining work that they previously agreed to do.

Hatcher is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is representing himself.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 10-C-519

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