PINEVILLE – Three more lawsuits have been filed against Dynamic Energy after residents claim it contaminated their well water.
Mechel Bluestone Inc. was also named as a defendant in the suits.
David Keith Hatfield, Lora Hatfield, Adam Keith Hatfield, Hubert Hatfield and Kelly Hatfield; Michael Toler and Aleta Toler; and Scottie Toler, Priscilla Toler, Makellan Hurley and Randy Toler 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 three complaints 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 cases are assigned to Circuit Judge Warren R. McGraw.
At least one other lawsuit previously was filed in Wyoming Circuit Court against Dynamic and Mechel, also claiming well water contamination.
Wyoming Circuit Court case numbers: 15-C-130, 15-C-131, 15-C-132