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West Virginia Court of Claims

Volume Number: 30
Opinion Issued December 26, 2013
     David Collins, Attorney at Law, for Claimants.
     C. Brian Matko, Attorney at Law, for Respondent.
      This claim was submitted to the Court for decision upon a Stipulation entered into by the Claimants and Respondent wherein certain facts and circumstances of the claim were agreed to as follows:
      1. The Claimants are the owners of a certain parcel of property located on Stony Run Road, in Mineral County, West Virginia.
      2. The Claimants have alleged that, sometime prior to March 2011, the Respondent replaced an eighteen inch culvert pipe with a twenty-four inch culvert pipe near the Claimants’ property. The aforementioned eighteen inch pipe, which the Respondent replaced, was attached to an eighteen inch pipe installed by the Claimants. The Claimants further allege that the Respondent improperly sealed the connection between the newly-installed twenty-four inch pipe , and the eighteen inch pipe. The Claimants assert that the eighteen inch pipe was unable to handle the flow of water and resulted in flooding of their basement. As a result of the flooding, the Claimants have asserted a claim for Twelve Thousand One Hundred Dollars and Forty Seven Cents ($12,100.47).
      3. The Respondent has denied liability in this matter and asserts that the Claimants are responsible to maintain, and if needed, direct the flow of water over their property. Respondent further asserts that Claimants did not have permission to attach their eighteen inch pipe to the culvert on the Respondent’s right-of-way.
      4. Both the Claimants and Respondent believe that in this particular incident and under these particular circumstances that an award of Eight Thousand Dollars and 00/100 cents ($8,000.00) would be a fair and reasonable amount to settle Claimants’ claim for damages.
      5. The parties to this claim agree that the total sum of Eight Thousand Dollars and 00/100 cents ($8,000.00) to be paid by Respondent to the Claimants in Claim No. CC-11-0618 will be a full and complete settlement, compromise and resolution of all matters in controversy in said claim and full and complete satisfaction of any and all past and future claims Claimants may have against Respondent arising from the mattes described in said claim.
      The Court has reviewed the facts of the claim and finds that Respondent was negligent in its maintenance of the culvert in question on the date of this incident; that the negligence of Respondent was the proximate cause of the damages sustained to the Claimants’ property; and that the amount of damages agreed to by the parties is fair and reasonable. Thus, Claimants may make a recovery for the damage.
      It is the opinion of the Court that the Claimants should be, and is hereby, awarded the sum of $8,000.00.
      Award of $8,000.00.

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