West Virginia Record

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Two Clendenin women sue for water leak damages

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 7, 2012

CHARLESTON -- Two Clendenin women are suing West Virginia-American Water Company for damages their property sustained after a water leak occurred.

Elk Valley Public Service District was also named as a defendant in the suit.

On July 14, 2010, a leak developed in a water line owned, operated and maintain by West Virginia-American Water Company which runs across the front of the property owned by Carol J. Crites and Linda J. Walker, as well as the property of their neighbors, according to a complaint filed July 13 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Crites and Walker claim they subsequently discovered the leak because major land slippage occurred at the back of their property.

Although there was no evidence of a surface water leak, a defined flow of water was identified at the center of the slippage on the neighboring property and the slippage was reported to the defendants, as well as other agencies, according to the suit.

Crites and Walker claim West Virginia-American Water identified and later repaired the leak in its main running across the front of the properties and the defined flow of water at the center of the slippage ceased.

As a result of the land slippage, the sewer lines servicing the plaintiffs' property were severed or otherwise damaged and they have yet to be properly repaired and maintained, creating a nuisance in violation of the Elk Valley Public Service District's duty to the plaintiffs, according to the suit.

Crites and Walker claim the damage to the property was so extensive that it was unsafe to bring heavy equipment onto the property to attempt remediation.

As a result of the leak, Crites and Walker have suffered excessive saturation of the soil and ground under their property; structural damage; lack of habitability and usability of the property; costs of remediation to return the property to its original condition; lost value of property; lost economic income; annoyance and inconvenience; and other damages, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Robert B. Allen.

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

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-1365

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