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Farmer sues Mon Power over deer deaths

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — A local farmer has filed a lawsuit against a power company and one of its contractors, claiming the noise from a tree-trimming helicopter caused his deer to die after they dived off a cliff in an attempt to escape the noise.

Jack Oliver III, an owner and operator of a whitetail deer farm in Rivesville, filed a lawsuit in the Marion County Circuit Clerk’s office last week against Mon Power and Rotor Blades, a company out of Georgetown, South Carolina, asking the court for a jury trial on the matter.

 Oliver claims with the lawsuit that in October 2011, his farm had repeated flyovers by helicopters from Rotor Blades contracted by Mon Power to trim trees along power lines.

Todd Meyers, a Mon Power spokesman, said the company usually contracts tree-trimming jobs out to other companies to clear rights of way with overgrown brush.

“Mon Power expects to invest about $72 million in 2015 to trim trees and control vegetation along more than 4,500 miles of power lines to help enhance service reliability for our customers,” Meyers said.

As part of this process, aerial saws are scheduled to be used to trim trees along about 700 miles of transmission lines, as well as some distribution circuits, in West Virginia through the end of the year, according to Meyers.

He said the aerial saw can perform work quickly, side-trimming both sides of a 10- to 12-mile right of way in one week.

Oliver claims that during the alleged time, the helicopter was low flying and the “very loud” noise put off by the helicopter and the running saw caused panic with the farm’s captive deer herd…


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