CHARLESTON - A man is suing West Virginia American Water Company for failing to maintain its water lines and causing him property damages.

Tommy D. Clay claims the defendant failed to properly maintain its water lines and caused him property damage at his place of business, according to a complaint filed May 13 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Clay claims the defendant's negligence included failing to properly maintain water lines; failing to properly repair water lines; failing to properly provide required maintenance to its water lines and the areas immediately surrounding the water lines; failing to exercise reasonable care in connection with the maintenance of the defendant's property, easements and rights-of-way; and failing to take proper corrective and remedial action necessary to prevent the expansion and growth of sinkholes on Clay's property.

After the first sinkhole developed, Clay promptly notified the defendant and requested immediate action, according to the suit. However, the defendant failed to take proper action to repair its leaking water lines or to prevent the enlargement of the sinkhole.

Clay claims as a result, a second large sinkhole developed, causing substantial property damage.

When the defendant repaired the pipe, it did so in a negligent manner, which caused further leaking and property damage, according to the suit.

Clay claims the defendant repeatedly refused to repair the water lines and to prevent the enlargement of the sinkholes, despite being put on notice multiple times.

The sinkholes are now so large that Clay's business has been obstructed and virtually closed down, according to the suit.

Clay is seeking compensatory damages with pre-judgment interest. He is being represented by John W. Alderman III of the Law Offices of John W. Alderman III.

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

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-934

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