West Virginia Court Revives 2001 Flood Lawsuits Against Loggers

July 3, 2008

The West Virginia Supreme Court has revived a pair of lawsuits seeking damages from timber, mining and land companies for devastating 2001 floods.

The court reinstated a 2006 jury verdict that improper logging practices allowed by two timberland owners helped cause severe floods that devastated the Mullens area in July 2001. The reversal frees about 500 residents to seek damages.

The court held that a Raleigh County judge was wrong to overrule the jury and grant judgment in favor of the defendants.

The court likewise reinstated a lawsuit against more than 100 defendants in a case involving the Coal River watershed. That case was dismissed before trial.

The court held the Coal River plaintiffs deserve a chance to prove their claims at trial.

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