Associated Press Published

Jury to Decide Contaminated Wells Case Against Coal Company

Jim Justice

A jury in West Virginia will decide whether a coal company owned by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Justice contaminated the drinking water wells of residents in Wyoming County.

Local media outlets report the jury is scheduled to begin deliberations Thursday in the case against Justice-controlled companies Dynamic Energy Inc. and Mechel Bluestone Inc.

Fifteen families who live near Dynamic Energy’s surface mining complex at Coal Mountain say the operation contaminated their wells to the point that the water is no longer safe to drink.

If the jury rules in their favor, the families could seek a court order to force the companies to provide long-term treatment to clean up their wells.

During the trial, Billy Shelton, a lawyer for Dynamic Energy and Mechel Bluestone, told jurors the residents had no case.