HUNTINGTON – A Cabell County couple is suing the owner of property adjacent to their property for causing them damages by disturbing land.

Stephen M. Hood and Martha H. Hood own property that is located immediately adjacent to property owned by Elinor D. Taylor, according to a complaint filed Aug. 20 in Cabell Circuit Court.

The Hoods claim Taylor developed a portion of her property as a subdivision to be sold as separate parcels to prospective homeowners and to provide access to the subdivision, she excavated and constructed, or caused to be excavated and constructed, a roadway known as Beuhring Drive along the hillside directly below the property's southern property line.

Beuhring Drive serves as the only means of vehicular access to the subdivision and by excavating and constructing the roadway, Taylor withdrew the lateral support from the hillside beside and above the roadway, according to the suit.

The Hoods claim in May 2011, as a result of Taylor's removal of the lateral support from the property, a portion of the property on the hillside above the roadway slipped onto the roadway and the soil from the hillside covered the roadway and prevented and impeded the subdivision residents' ingress and egress from the subdivision.

Upon being notified of the damage to the property and the resulting blockage of the roadway, and as a result of Taylor's land-disturbing activities, the Hoods incurred expenses in having the soil expediently removed from the roadway, according to the suit, and incurred additional expenses in repairing and restoring that portion of the property that had slipped so as to prevent further damage and future blockages.

The Hoods claim as owners of their property, they have an absolute right to the lateral support in the adjacent land for their soil, including the lateral support in Taylor's land for the property.

Taylor's removal of the lateral support to the property directly and proximately caused a portion of the property to slip and cause damages, according to the suit.

The Hoods are seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Marc E. Williams, Robert M. Sellards and S. Taylor Hood.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David M. Pancake.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 12-C-542

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