By Harmon Marks | May 18, 2012

March 13
Allen J. Ball vs. Alpha Natural Resources, LLC; Alpha Appalachia Services, Inc., Independence Coal Co., Inc.
PA- Mark A. Atkinson; J- William S. Thompson
* Ball was discharged last January after some five years employed by defendants. He says it was "an unlawful retaliatory discharge" because he attempted to receive Workers' Compensation benefits for disability, such as for permanent injuries to his knee and wrist. Ball seeks jury awards for personal, compensatory and punitive damages and court cost.
Case number: 12-C-54

Danny Harper vs. Independence Coal Co., Inc.; Alpha Natural Resources Services, LLC, and Alpha Natural Resources, Inc.
PA- Matthew M. Hatfield; J- Thompson
* Complaint details accident last June on mountaintop removal project in Boone County when Harper's rock truck struck another that had been forced off the road. Harper says radio"was mounted below the driver's field of vision" when he had to look down to comply with requirement to change the channel, which caused him to strike the ditched truck. Given three days suspension pending a drug screen, Harper says he passed the test but was unlawfully terminated after some nine years employment. He demands jury trial for compensatory, punitive and emotional distress damages, pre-judgment interest and litigation expenses.
Case number: 12-C-55

March 19
Kenneth Price, Elizabeth A. Price, Matthew Jones, John Jones, Patrelia Lewis, Jeff Pricve, Rovena Ward, Thornton Price, Jr.; George E. Price, Richard Price, Johnnie Price, Garland Price and Argyle Wade vs. Doreen Price, as Executor of the Estate of Joel Price
PA- Robert V. Berthold.Jr, Christina L. Smith, Robert V. Berthold, III; J- Thompson
* Family survivors of a victim of the April 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine explosion are contesting a verbal wrongful death settlement agreement with Massey Defendants by Doreen Price, widow of Joel Price. The 13 plaintiffs filed a Petition For Declaratory Judgment And Injunctive Relief, saying they object unanimously to "such a woefully inadequate settlement..." Case was transferred from Raleigh Circuit Court.
Case number: 12-C-59

Nathan A. Shirkey, by and through his next friend and parent, John M. Shirkey vs. Melanie Shirkey
PA- M. Timothy Koontz; J- Thompson
* Father asks approval of $100,000 settlement with Erie Insurance stemming from November 2011 vehicle crash on Route 17 that seriously injured his 11-year-old son. Melanie Shirkey, driver and mother of Nathan, died as a result of injuries in the wreck. Medical expenses totaled $49,474 for the boy.
Case number: 12-C-60

March 21
Brooke & Michael Gilliam vs. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.; Barry Stollings, Hatfield Appraisal Co., Bank of America, N.A., successor by merger to BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, and John Doe Holder
PA- Lydia Milnes; J- Thompson
* Coal miner and stay-at-home wife-mother complain defendants engaged in predatory lending by soliciting them to enter into home loan "based on fraudulently inflated appraisals." Countrywide and its agents are accused of "entering into a home-secured loan for an amount significantly greater than the value of the house." Loan servicer Bank of America, according to complaint, misrepresented to the Foster couple that they could get a loan modification, then pursued foreclosure. Real estate agent Stollings pre-approved financing the summer of 2006. Complaint says original appraisal gave $113,000 as market value of property, when actual value was $77,000. Gilliam, with work hours reduced last winter, had difficulty making loan payments and began seeking loan assistance. Despite BOA's promises to make a loan modification, according to complaint, foreclosure was pursued. Gilliams want, among other things, for jury to declare loan void, and award actual and punitive damages, civil penalties of $4,000 for each violation pursuant to State Code, court expenses, and such other relief deemed appropriate and just.
Case number: 12-C-63

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