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Yeager Airport Mediation Begins

Thursday, December, 27, 2018

Mediation has begun in an effort to resolve the lawsuit regarding the collapse of the Yeager Airport hillside. The mediation involves almost a dozen contractors and insurance carriers.


The sessions are being overseen by three judges, including McDowell Circuit, Judge Bookter T. Stephens, Taylor Circuit, Judge Alan D. Moats, and Webster Circuit Judge Jack Alsop.


The dispute began in March of 2015 when more than 100 homes had to be evacuated because a large part of the hillside fell into Two Mile Creek. One of the homes was destroyed in the event, as was a church. There was damage to other homes caused by flooding.


That May, the Yeager Airport filed a lawsuit against the contractors responsible for the design and construction of the runway extension. According to the claim, there had been negligence and a breach of contract.


Furthermore, Yeager Airport alleged the extension and the man-made hillside supporting it had been designed improperly. It also alleged there was no structural testing done, nor had there been an inspection or ongoing monitoring.


In addition to Yeager’s lawsuit, there were also several suits filed by residents that had been affected by the event. Those cases have already been referred to the Mass Litigation Panel.


Shortly after the lawsuit was filed by the airport, the board was given $6 million to help residents affected by the event. $5.5 million of that was from Summit Bank, while the other half million came from the Kanawha County Commission.


Now, the airport and the other entities involved will attempt to completely resolve the issue through mediation. If unsuccessful, the claim will continue to court.