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Construction company sued over water run-off

MORGANTOWN — A lawsuit claims negligence during construction of Oak Hill Estates caused significant water damage to their property.

The suit, filed by Ed Dunn Road residents Kenneth and Jessica Davis, seeks monetary relief for damages, interests, punitive damages, legal costs and other relief deemed appropriate.

The water caused damage in multiple ways, according to the suit. The Davises have been repeatedly forced to purchase gravel for their drive which washes out, had their garage and items inside damaged, the hillside next to the driveway has slipped, and a small flat clearing is now a marsh that cannot be mowed or maintained.

Estimates to repair the slipping hillside and other property damage range from $161,438 to $173,734, the suit states.

CPM Enterprises, LLC, Rising Sun Construction, and Christopher Bailey, the owner of Rising Sun and a representative of CPM, are named as defendants.

“CPM Enterprises has just learned of this lawsuit,” Bailey told The Dominion Post. “CPM Enterprises has no comment on pending litigation, but looks forward to fully and vigorously defending this case and is confident that the merits of its defenses will be revealed as this matter progresses.”

According to the suit, the defendants failed to properly divert water run-off from the construction of Oak Hill Estates.

According to a July 11, 2019, report from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, the permit for the site expired May 2, 2019. The DEP report also stated “sediment-laden water” was leaving the construction site without going through an appropriate device and stormwater was crossing Ed Dunn Road onto the plaintiff’s property. The report and a notice of violation are attached as exhibits in the lawsuit. 

Photos of water crossing the road and flowing onto the Davis’ property are included in the report.

The suit claims the defendants “intentionally misrepresented the development design of Oak Hill Estates to government agencies to acquire the necessary permits” and “conducted work on the project with no concern for the effects on surrounding properties.”

It also claims the defendants removed the pre-existing water run-off ditch that was installed by coal companies as part of reclamation work and replaced it with a ditch that is about half of the Davis’ property line. 

An improperly installed culvert at the bottom of Oak Hill Estates that can’t handle the amount of run-off was also installed, according to the filing.

None of the issues existed prior to the excavation and construction work at Oak Hill Estates, the suit states.

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