West Virginia Slurry Pollution Case Headed for Trial

May 25, 2012

Mediation has failed to settle a lawsuit by hundreds of Boone County residents who blame coal companies for contaminating their water supplies.

Attorney Roger Decanio said this week that the case against Massey Energy and four subsidiaries is headed for trial.

Circuit Judge William Thompson has consolidated 155 medical monitoring lawsuits involving about 350 people and tentatively scheduled trial for June 12.

The companies are now owned by Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources.

The other operators originally sued have agreed to confidential settlements but denied responsibility for the problems.

Residents of Seth and Prenter say mining activities, including the underground injection of coal slurry, are to blame for discolored, foul-smelling well water and health problems.

The plaintiffs are now served by public water lines and no longer rely on their wells for consumption.

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