West Virginia Record

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Man says contractors trespassed, damaged his property in lawsuit


By Carrie Bradon | Sep 27, 2019

WINFIELD A man said employees of a tree-clearing company hired by two other companies ignored his property's no-trespassing sign, damaged his property and dumped garbage on his land.

In a lawsuit filed in Putnam Circuit Court said, Shane Snyder said employees of Asplundh Tree Expert LLC, doing work for Appalachia Power Company Inc. and American Electric Power Company Inc., never had permission to enter his property, which featured a no-trespassing sign on its gate, the lawsuit said. The defendants were required to maintain the landscaping around power lines to keep them free from vegetation, and AEP and Appalachian hired Asplundh to do this work. 

On Aug. 2, 2017, Snyder told two Asplundh employees that they were trespassing and to leave, the lawsuit said. He later caught other Asplundh employees trespassing on Aug. 8, 2017, and damaging his property, the lawsuit said, including cutting out brush, rutting out Snyder's road with their machines, blocking Snyder from using his car, destroying vegetation and small ponds and changing the geography of the property. The defendants also cut up Snyder's barriers to keep out trespassers, the lawsuit said. 

Snyder reported the incident to the sheriff's department, and the employees were removed from the property, the lawsuit said. Asplundh denied any wrongdoing in the incident, the lawsuit said. On Dec. 8, 2017, the employees broke the plaintiff's gate and again entered the property, the lawsuit said, and they dumped garbage on his property Dec. 17, 2017, it said. Snyder installed cameras to monitor his property afterward, the lawsuit said.

Snyder is seeking all reasonable sums due, attorney fees and court costs. He is representing himself.

The case has been assigned to Judge Phillip Stowers.

Putnam Circuit Court case No. 19-C-159

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