Wyoming County man sues WVDOH for property contamination

By Kyla Asbury | Nov 7, 2012

CHARLESTON – A Wyoming County man is suing the West Virginia Division of Highways for contamination of his personal property.

CHARLESTON – A Wyoming County man is suing the West Virginia Division of Highways for contamination of his personal property.

The Division of Highways is a division of the West Virginia Department of Transportation.

The property directly adjacent to Robert Morgan’s property on West Virginia 10 in Wyoming County is owned by the defendant, according to a complaint filed Oct. 26 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Morgan claims the site was previously utilized for maintenance operations of the Division of Highways until such operations were relocated.

Upon relocation, gasoline and diesel underground storage tanks were removed from the site and subsequent to the removal, contaminants from leaking fuel and/or other hazardous substances were detected, according to the suit.

Morgan claims as a result, testing and assessment efforts were undertaken and/or directed by the defendant with regards to the contamination.

Assessment and testing of the site has included multiple soil borings and the installation of monitoring wells to determine the extent of the contaminant migrations, according to the suit, and the results of the assessment and testing efforts has revealed the presence of multiple contaminants at concentrations significantly greater than acceptable levels on Morgan’s property.

Morgan claims the contamination of his property includes surface water, sediment, groundwater, surface soil, sub-surface soil and other aggregates, each of which result in significant chemical exposure to Morgan and other visitors and potential inhabitants of the property.

The contamination of Morgan’s property continues, as does his exposure to the contaminants, because the contaminants have not been removed, according to the suit.

Morgan claims the defendant’s actions violate the Underground Storage Tank Act, the Groundwater Protection Act and the Water Pollution Control Act.

The defendant had a duty of care to Morgan to operate and/or remove the underground storage tanks in a reasonably safe and prudent manner that would prevent the contamination of Morgan’s property, according to the suit, and has breached its duty by allowing the contaminants to occur and continue.

Morgan is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Sean W. Cook and R. Ray Lovejoy II.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-2162

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