Home Golf Expert Witness News Golf Expert Witness News: Coal Ash Dump
Golf Expert Witness News: Coal Ash Dump
In the first situation described, as stated in the article below, a golf course was designed and constructed, with the plaintiffs claming that the intent of the design was truly to have the course act as a waste dump for a nearby coal plant. Not your typically golf course litigation, to say the least! Stay here for the interesting and extraordinary!

Lawsuit claims Dominion saw golf course as 'coal ash dump'

Erosion along one of the fairways at Battlefield Golf Club in Chesapeake exposes a layer of dark gray fly ash in February 2008. (Steve Earley | The Virginian-Pilot file photo)

This was submitted in the Virginian-Pilot, and I have added some comments.

A former construction manager claims Dominion Virginia Power directed the construction of a golf course in southern Chesapeake with 1.5 million tons of fly ash to disguise the project’s true purpose -- as a coal waste dump. In this case, an expert witness in golf related matters will be helpful to the side looking to show that the purchase of land around the property was fraudulently induced by the course owners, as they indicated nothing about the dumping of coal on the grounds.

Derrick Howell, a golf course construction worker, said Dominion project managers were driven by how much of the potentially hazardous coal ash they could bury in the 217-acre site, according to a sworn statement filed this month in Chesapeake Circuit Court. Derrick is a very persuasive golf expert witness in this case as he worked for the company that did the construction, and his testimony can be viewed credibly by a jury as he was involved in the actual process, though it does not indicate how Mr. Howell would be aware of the intention of the project managers. That would be a piece of information that I would like to know concerning concerning golf course accidents and litigation.

“It was clear that a golf course wasn’t being built,” Howell testified. “It was a coal ash dump. All Dominion ever cared about was tonnage and how much more they could dump.”

The accusations are part of a second lawsuit filed against Dominion Virginia Power, Combustion Products Management, golf course owners MJM Golf LLC, and other companies. The suit maintains the fly ash will leach and contaminate drinking water and wells with hazardous heavy metals. Both sides, I am sure, have hired expert witnesses in golf to support their version of the facts and law.

It seeks $1.25 billion to remove the fly ash, clean and restore the site, and bring public water and sewer to the neighborhoods. It also seeks millions more to pay for homes, properties, medical bills and the nuisance created by the development.

Dominion spokesman Jim Norvelle said the company believes it has acted properly. The federal Environmental Protection Agency has found no evidence of drinking water contamination in preliminary tests, he said.

A suit filed by 400 residents in March from neighborhoods surrounding Battlefield Golf Club at Centerville in March is seeking $1 billion in damages. The new suit was brought by 62 residents and families in the neighborhoods, in the city’s Fentress section.

“We believe this second lawsuit also is without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously in court,” Norvelle said in a statement.

The new suit contains additional charges that Dominion Virginia Power and its partners knew and hid the risks of burying tons of coal ash in the middle of two residential communities. It charges that the company has known for decades about the risks of burying coal ash.

Howell met at least a dozen times with supervisors at Dominion and Combustion Products Management, according to court records. Dominion officials visited the site at least every other month, and saw coal ash sitting in water. The officials continued to say the material was “safe as dirt,” according to the suit.