West Virginia Record

Monday, September 23, 2019

Lawsuit says Needmore Mining breached contract with investors

By From staff reports | Jan 12, 2018

FAYETTEVILLE – A lawsuit was filed against Needmore Mining alleging it breached its contract with three investors.

Patricia Kelly and Donna Rae Duncan was were also named as defendants in the suit.

On Jan. 22, 2014, Needmore was organized as a West Virginia limited liability company and Kelly is the manager and organizer of Needmore, according to a complaint filed Dec. 1 in Fayette Circuit Court. Kelly is the sole owner of Needmore and Duncan is employed by Needmore.

The plaintiffs, James Norman Sr., James Norman Jr. and Patricia Norman, claim in 2015, the defendants solicited their financial contribution to Needmore and a job known as the “Nallen Job.”

The defendants made promises and representations that mining would commence at the Nallen job within a couple months, producing 3,000 to 5,000 tons of coal per month for approximately 12 to 14 months, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants represented that they had the knowledge, skill and ability, as well as the permits, leases and coal purchase contracts necessary for the Nallen job to become operational and be profitable.

The defendants represented to the plaintiffs that they would use the plaintiffs’ financial contribution to get the mining operation at the Nallen job started, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim a letter agreement was signed on Dec. 9, 2015, in which James Norman Sr. agreed to invest a total of $100,000 in Needmore, which was to be paid back at $15 per ton. James Norman Jr. and Patricia Norman also signed a version of the 2015 agreement, acknowledging how the payments were to be distributed and that Patricia Norman was to receive her father’s share on the profits in the event that he passed away.

Duncan notarized the signatures on each of the agreements, according to the suit. The next day, James Norman Jr. sent a wire transfer to Needmore in the amount of $100,000.

Between March 21 and 23, 2016, James Norman Sr. and Patricia Norman visited to inspect the progress of the Nallen job and a second agreement was entered into and notarized, according to the suit. James Norman Sr. then made a check payable to Needmore for $60,000.

In June 2016, the defendants requested another $40,000 and another agreement was entered into and notarized on June 27, 2016.

The plaintiffs claim in Fall 2016, they continued to contribute financially to Needmore in the amount of $105,570.46. From January 2017 until June 2017, Needmore requested additional funds.

Little to no activities have occurred at the Nallen job and no actual mining is taking place, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim they received no return on their investment and have been effectively excluded from the joint venture.

The defendants refuse to communicate with the plaintiffs about the Nallen job and the whereabouts of the funds invested, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants breached their duty of good faith.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages. They are being represented by Thomas H. Ewing and Courtney A. Kirtley of Kay Casto & Chaney.

Fayette Circuit Court case number: 17-C-341

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Kay Casto and Chaney