Residents say Union Carbide, others contaminated property

By Kyla Asbury | May 3, 2011

CHARLESTON -- More than 30 state residents are suing Union Carbide Company after they claim their properties were contaminated with hazardous substances.

Dow Chemical Corporation; Elkem Metals Corporation; Globe Specialty Metals, Inc.; Globe Metallurgical, Inc.; and West Virginia Alloys, Inc., were also named as defendants in the suit.

Gregory and Patty Ballard; Drema Ballard; Paul Burke; James and Sallie Coleman; Roxane Fragate; Brenda Hill; Cathy Hopkins; John and Cathy Jones; Larry and Kathy Kimbro; Thelma McGuire; Ada Morris; Carl Moten ; Adelle Newbell; Carrie Peyton; Dorothy Richmond; Dorothy Richmond; Patricia Schulte; Phillip Schulte; Naomi Tackett; David Tamplin; Carolyn Turner; Patricia Ward; Terry White; Timothy and Nicole Williams; Ray and June Withrow; Brian and Cynthia Wright; and Arnold Wright allege that the defendants caused them and their properties to become contaminated with various hazardous substances, according to a complaint filed March 31 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

The plaintiffs claim the hazardous substances included antimony, arsenic, chromium, iron, lead, manganese, vanadium, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, silica and both volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds which have been produced or used at the Alloy Plant.

The defendants, over the course of approximately 70 years, "indiscriminately contaminated the Plaintiffs' and putative class members' property, making no allowances for individual differences among the class members in this toxic undertaking," according to the suit.

The 34 plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by Thomas F. Urban II, Jared R. Woodfill, Wallace T. Ward III and Robert Summerlin.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Louis H. Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-531

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