MARTINSBURG – A developer is suing the engineering firm it used on a housing project, alleging its negligence resulted in an entrance that is too small.

DAR, LLC of Morgantown filed a lawsuit May 23 in Berkeley County Circuit Court against Triad Engineering, regional manager Lydia Work and engineer Karen L. Krabill. The lawsuit claims the defendants have caused delays and extra costs during the construction of the Westminster Apartments in Berkley County.

Representing DAR is Charles C. Wise III of the Bowles Rice office in Morgantown.

The complaint says DAR hired Triad in 2008 to provide a full property survey and geotechnical engineering on the project, which features 200 housing units over approximately 20 acres.

Part of the contract required Triad to submit and obtain all applicable permit approvals for design and construction, the suit says. Triad was to provide a survey of the entrance road, it adds.

The survey should have consisted of necessary courthouse research, title searches, a review of rights-of-way, a boundary survey and a field survey, DAR alleges.

DAR says Triad didn’t conduct an independent title search even though it was paid more than $200,000 for its work.

“The defendants’ failure to verify a sufficient right of way caused delays in the commencement and construction of Westminster,” the complaint alleges.

Triad relied on reports and approvals prepared by others, and knew DAR was designing over one of the neighbors’ access, the suit says. Triad allegedly knew insufficient space existed for the construction and approval of an entrance road for the Westminster Apartments.

The complaint makes claims of negligence and breach of contract. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge John Yoder.

Recently, the state Department of Transportation submitted comments on the proposed project. Submitted in March, it says there will be a commitment to re-evaluate the intersection and a possible left-turn lane post-development.

From the West Virginia Record: Reach John O’Brien at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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