WHEELING – A couple is suing the Marshall County Coal Company after they claim it and another coal company caused them property damages.

McElroy Coal Company was also named as a defendant in the suit.

Beginning in Fall 2014 and continuing through June 2015, the defendants conducted long-wall mining and oil and gas well plugging operations, under and adjacent to the property of Mark H. Frye and Lisa Fonner, according to a complaint filed May 15 in Marshall Circuit Court and removed to federal court on June 15.

The plaintiffs claim during and subsequent to mining, they noticed and continue to notice damages to their properties and the structures and natural water supplies on their properties.

As a direct and proximate result of the long-wall mining operations conducted by the defendants, the plaintiffs suffered damages, including damages to the residence, the bar and other outbuildings on the property; a loss of natural water sources situated on or servicing the properties; a diminution of the total value of the properties; loss of use of the properties and/or structures on the properties; annoyance and inconvenience; and a functional impairment of the surface lands, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim that the defendants have failed to correct the damages or adequately compensate them for the damages.

The septic system in the plaintiffs’ residence was also damaged or disrupted on two separate occasions, causing gray water/septic water to back into and under their basement floor, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim in 2016, the defendants retained a contractor to work on the septic system, but they failed to properly fix the problem, leaving gray water/septic water lying in and under the basement.

As a direct and proximate result of the back-up of gray water/septic water in the basement of the residence, Fonner suffers from Klebsiella Pneumoniae and has endured pain and suffering and has been forced to incur medical bills, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Eric M. Gordon of Berry, Kessler, Crutchfield, Taylor & Gordon.

The defendants are represented by Melissa M. Barr and Rodger L. Puz of McCamey & Chilcote.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number: 5:17-cv-00088

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