Front Porch Blog

Massey sues Mingo County, WV attorney Kevin Thompson

We’ve talked about the long-struggling residents of Mingo County in their quest for clean drinking water, which has been polluted by coal sludge. Here’s a quick recap…

This is coal sludge in the water supply.

Coal companies have been injecting coal sludge into abandoned long-shaft mines in Mingo County for nearly two decades. The heavy metals and toxins from these illegal dumps have leached into the water supply and now the people of Rawl and Mingo County, WV are fighting for their lives.

Many have liver and kidney problems, various forms of cancer and skin rashes— health problems associated with long-term exposure to high levels of arsenic, lead, manganese, selenium, and other toxins which scientists have found in residents’ well water.

Now, via West Virginia Public Radio, we learn that a man (hero) trying to help these people, named Kevin Thompson is being sued by a subsidary of Massey Energy for…GASP… defamation

Don’t believe me? Listen for yourself, or go below to a transcript.

Why would someone like Massey Energy try to get back at little-man Kevin Thompson and slap him with a defamation suit?

Because, he was representing the residents of Mingo County in a suit against Massey Subsidary “Rawl Sales and Service Processing”, AND he writes letters to people like County Commissioners. God Bless America!

West Virginia Public Radio, take it away…

WVPR: 100s of residents in 4 hollers outside Williamson say a Massey subsidiary’s  coal preparation plant has contaminated their well water.

This spring the state spent $15000 to haul water to those areas, because people are afraid to drink from their own wells.

This was only a temporary solution while the County Commission investigated how to deliver public water to these areas.

Thats when [ Dun Du DUUUUUH!!!]attorney Kevin Thompson wrote a letter to Mingo County Comissioner John Mark Hubbard.

Attorney Kevin Thompson: “The Mingo County Commission had already provided some temporary water supplies for Rawl, but that water was running out, and my purpose in the letter was to tell them that we had gathered a tremendous amount of evidence and that we were willing to share it with them if it could help them secure water.”

WVPR: Thompson’s letter says in part ” Our evidence proves that Rawl Sales and Service Processing knowingly contamintated the water and our evidence shows that the people of Rawl are slowly dying.

If there is anything we can do to help our clients get clean safe water please let me know.”

2 weeks ago, Massey subsidiary Rawl Sales and Processing filed a Defamation suit against Thompson and his law partner. The companies lawsuit claims that Rawl has suffered “damage to its reputation, its good name, and its business as a result of the defamatory statement.”

Alright, alright, alright, stop there.
Now Appalachia, this says a lot about the our state in America. Massey is one of our largest energy producers, brings in billion$, and HEY WHO ARE YOU OVER THERE COMPLAINING ABOUT THE POISION WATER!!!

Wheres the government?
Back to your regularly scheduled program…

WVPR: The lawsuit does not say how Rawl has been damaged.

Wait a second…What?…So you don’t have to do that (?)

WVPR: A  Massey spokesman did not return a call requesting comment. Commisioner Hubbard, meanwhile,  says he doesnt even remember recieving the letter.[Ho, Hum] He says the commission is focused on extending water lines to the 4 hollows.

Commissioner Hubbard: “Theres still those outlying communities that still need, and we need to work towards and see that those water issues are addressed and those folks have a bottle of water if they need.” [listen to the audio…thats what he says]

WVPR:Do you have any feeling or sense in whats going on in this defamation fight between attorney Kevin Thompson and Rawl Sales Processing?

Commissioner Hubbard: “I do not. I dont know who is stating what about either party, so no I do not.”

WVPR:  Thompson represents the people in the communities of Rawl, Merrimac, Lick Creek and Sprig in a lawsuit filed about a year and a half ago. The lawsuit claims that coal slurrey Massey injected in old mines workings has seeped into their wells, brinigng with it chemicals that make the water dangerous to drink.

He says his letter to Commissioner Hubbard is legally protected speech, and that Masey is trying to intimidate him by filing the defamation suit.

[watch this…]
Thompson: “Mingo County elected the County commission. The County Commission is there to meet the needs of the people. I represent a group of the people. I took their needs to the county commission. This is how our governnment is set up. The attorneys and the lobbyists go to Congress and go to legislatures and lobby there. They represent the coal industry intersts every day. When the people go and try to get the government to do something favorable for them, suddenly thats defamation. They want to send me to hell with them. Im going to continue to represent my people.

Last year Massey energy sued several organizations and their leaders over political statements, including the United Mine Workers of America and its president Cecil Roberts. For West Virginia Public Broadcasting, Im Dan Heyman.

Kevin Thompson now joins the ever prestigious club of individuals being sued by Massey Energy, always laudable of our praise.

Learn about the water-line project in Mingo County here

There are groups forcing a gridlock in the coalfields, we just have to make it a federal issue. You can help. Call your Congressperson and ask them to co-sponsor the “Clean Water Protection Act” – HR 2719. Weve got 66 co-sponsors and counting!

Update: For those wanting to help, here’s Kevin Thompson’s website.

Call and Thank him! – (304) 343-6383

Thompson and Mingo County WON





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  1. Nancy Farley on April 6, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Seeing if you are still taking people over the wrong Massey water settlements for people like me who didn’t get to sign up what do I need to do or who do I need to talk to my name is Nancy Farley I am 47 years old lived at rawl and Merrimac my whole life I raised my kids on that water and when y’all and when Massey settled with everybody I didn’t do it and neither did my kids and I was just wanting to see what I need to do to see if we can still eligible to get anything because that someone told me that you are still taking the case for people that didn’t get to sign up for the water and there was such and such amount of money put back for people that didn’t get to sign up

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