But attorneys for more than 100 defendants in the lawsuits told the court that circuit court judges were correct to dismiss a case involving Coal River watershed residents and overturn a jury verdict that would have allowed about 500 people from the Mullens area to seek damages from two land companies.
The cases center on flooding that hit after up to 7 inches of rain fell across seven southern West Virginia counties July 8, 2001, causing more than $143 million in damage. Generally speaking, the suits claim that mountaintop removal mining and logging left forests unable to soak up excessive rain and caused streams and rivers to overflow.
Just one case has gone to trial, but Raleigh County Circuit Judge John Hutchison overturned the verdict, in part because he ruled two experts for the plaintiffs offered only subjective testimony and speculation.
Attorney Scott Segal tried to punch holes in Hutchison