Justices say judge must reinstate ver...

Justices say judge must reinstate verdict in major flood case

There are 6 comments on the The West Virginia Record story from Jun 28, 2008, titled Justices say judge must reinstate verdict in major flood case. In it, The West Virginia Record reports that:

Raleigh Circuit Judge John Hutchison must reinstate a jury verdict blaming Western Pocahontas Properties for damage from a flood that struck near Mullens in 2000, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The West Virginia Record.

Since: Jun 08

High Point, NC

#1 Jul 9, 2008
Way to go "Justices". Maybe there is some justice in the world after all! I'd like to know what Raleigh Circuit Judge John Hutchison was paid to throw this out in the first place! People have suffered a long time due to the careless destruction of beautiful WV mountains... let 'em pay now... and maybe some of the folks that lost their homes or suffered/or are still suffering can get some relief.
PArTuie

New York, NY

#2 Jul 9, 2008
Hey D. Looks like people have judged your comment but have nothing to say about it. Try a warped humor spin and they'll be all over it. ;)
I can't read the article because the website won't open for me, but hey I'll side with you anyway. We should make these people pay! I think they made the flood happen on purpose as part of a real estate conspiracy to move in an amusement park! And I think the amusement park canceled and so now the judge hjas to make nice with the public. Hey if I can't read the article, I'll just make it up. LOL! Hope you had a great fourth of July Rebel.:)
TRUE

United States

#3 Jul 9, 2008
From what I heard the flood was part of the amusement park but The people on the rides kept getting attacked by them sneaky brown trout. Oh btw look at the river 7 years later on July ninth and it is atarting to rise. Hurry throw all your junk in the river before litter control writes you a ticket. I am going to help clean out Noel's yard as we speak.
Another view

United States

#4 Jul 9, 2008
I agree, they should pay, and while we're at it they should pay for Ethel's pain and suffering due to the blue house on Moran Ave, Kim Farmer's pain & suffering due to unwanted facial hair, Tyrone's pain & suffering due to Max, Gary Dixon's pain & suffering due to getting only 5 votes & my pain & suffering because those mean old land companies dare try to profit from their land, and I want my share.

Since: Jun 08

High Point, NC

#5 Jul 9, 2008
PArTuie wrote:
Hey D. Looks like people have judged your comment but have nothing to say about it. Try a warped humor spin and they'll be all over it. ;)
I can't read the article because the website won't open for me, but hey I'll side with you anyway. We should make these people pay! I think they made the flood happen on purpose as part of a real estate conspiracy to move in an amusement park! And I think the amusement park canceled and so now the judge hjas to make nice with the public. Hey if I can't read the article, I'll just make it up. LOL! Hope you had a great fourth of July Rebel.:)
I am not surprised. I am ashamed of people from Mullens who are against this new "ruling"... I suppose they have stock in some of these lousy companies that are responsible. Wouldnt it be nice if it had been due to an amusement park? You can bet your bottom dollar that the park would be open and the money would be rolling into town - or someone's bank account...

Had a wonderful Independence Day ParTuie! Hope you did as well. Nothing like the good ole USA!

Since: Jun 08

High Point, NC

#6 Jul 9, 2008
Justices say judge must reinstate verdict in major flood case

CHARLESTON - Raleigh Circuit Judge John Hutchison must reinstate a jury verdict blaming Western Pocahontas Properties for damage from a flood that struck near Mullens in 2000, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

Hutchison presided over a trial in 2006 but overturned the verdict last year, finding that plaintiffs inflamed jurors by substituting sensational testimony for evidence.

He ruled that he would grant western Pocahontas Properties a new trial if the Supreme Court of Appeals reversed him, but the Court told him he couldn't hold a new trial.

The Court's opinion also reversed Ohio County Circuit Judge Arthur Recht, who had dismissed flood damage claims from a different watershed.

The double victory for plaintiffs came from a Court that included two elected Justices and three who heard the appeal by special assignment.

Chief Justice Spike Maynard and Justices Brent Benjamin disqualified themselves. Circuit Judges Russell Clawges, Darrell Pratt and O. C. Spaulding replaced them.

The substitutes joined Justices Joseph Albright and Larry Starcher in a unanimous opinion.

Hutchison's jury heard claims of flood damage victims from the Slab Fork watershed.

Hutchison admitted testimony of experts Bruce Bell and John Morgan, but after trial he decided jurors shouldn't have heard them.

The Supreme Court of Appeals declared their testimony valid, finding that they "had extensive training, education, and professional experience and expertise on how land disturbance affects the flow of surface water."

"This was not a case of a befuddled jury confounded by bizarre, absurd or irrational pseudoscientific assertions," they wrote.

"The jury was entitled to resolve the conflicts in the evidence and to believe the plaintiffs' experts and disbelieve the defendants' experts. The jury apparently did just that."

They also rejected defense claims of due process violations. "The trial of 'mass claim' cases may necessitate novel and creative trial procedures," they wrote.

Hutchison's jury established liability but not damages. He must now conduct a trial to determine damages.

The Court also rejected the reasoning of Recht, who had dismissed all claims from the Coal River watershed.

Recht ruled that the complaints before him "did not specify which plaintiffs were suing which defendants, which defendants' operations were at issue, or what was alleged to be improper with regard to any specific defendant operation

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