PINEVILLE – Four people are suing Dynamic Energy Inc. after they claim it contaminated their well water and failed to fix the problem.
Mechel Bluestone Inc. was also named as a defendant in the suit.
James Harris and Della Harris, the parents of C.C. and E.C.; and Ivory Toler and Blane Adkins have water from a well and depend on their water well for all of their domestic needs, including drinking, bathing, cooking, cleaning and laundry, according to a complaint filed in Wyoming Circuit Court.
The plaintiffs claim until recently, their water wells produced abundant, clean, fresh water sufficient in quality and quantity to meet all of their domestic needs.
At some point after Dynamic Energy began operating atop Coal Mountain, the plaintiffs, along with other citizens, began to notice a gradual degradation in the quality of water coming from their wells, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim they also began to notice a discoloration and rotten egg smell emanating from their water, however, at that point, they were not able to relate the degradation, discoloration and odor to the defendants' conduct.
The odor, taste and appearance of their well water continued to degrade to the point that they were concerned about the safety of their water and in 2013, a series of water test results showed that the water was not safe for human consumption because of high concentrations of heavy metals and hydrogen sulfide, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim they have suffered indigestion, diarrhea, rashes, itching and skin irritation after contact with the water.
On April 24, the plaintiffs provided notice to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement and Dynamic Energy that their well water had been contaminated, but they were not provided with emergency temporary water, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim the defendants' mining activities of diminished, if not completely eroded, their property values and caused them damages.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Kevin W. Thompson and David R. Barney Jr. of Thompson Barney.
The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Warren R. McGraw.
Wyoming Circuit Court case number: 15-C-129