West Virginia Record

Sunday, November 17, 2019

30 suits target Argus surface mine near Harts

By Harmon Marks | Sep 23, 2011

HAMLIN -- A total of 30 personal and property damage suits await jury trials in Lincoln Circuit Court against Argus Energy VW, LLC, and associated individuals concerning surface mining in the Harts area.

Typical of the Aug. 22 complaints is that of Warren Lowe Jr.; Darlene Lowe, Emmett Lowe, Jeremy Lowe and Justin Lowe, Individually and as Father and Next Friend of Abagale Lowe. Eight defendants are listed by Lowes counsel, Charleston Attorneys Marvin W. Masters, Trent A. Redman and Michael D. Payne.

Plaintiffs say mining operations have severely damaged their houses and properties and contaminated their well water in the Harts area in or near streams of Pigeon Creek Watershed, part of the Tug River/Big Sandy drainage basin.

Claiming Argus has control of the work by the numerous defendants, the company is liable "for their acts, conduct and omissions ..."

Complaint says defendants "negligently, carelessly and unlawfully set off excessive explosives, trespassed or contributed to trespass on property of the plaintiff owners, caused water runoff onto plaintiffs' properties, caused rock to be thrown onto plaintiffs' properties, damaged plaintiffs' private roads and public roads in plaintiffs' community, damaged creeks and tributaries in, on or near plaintiffs' properties, created unnecessary loud and obnoxious noises and vibrations, caused cracks in homes, buildings and improvements on some of plaintiffs' properties, and damaged their well water and tributary water..."

Five detailed counts included in the complaint typically seek compensatory and punitive damages, jointly and severally; litigation costs and such other further and general relief deemed just and proper.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Jay M. Hoke.

Lincoln Circuit Court case numbers 11-C-68 through 11-C-97

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