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Marfork Coal Company, Inc. v. Smith

United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
274 F.R.D. 193 (2011)


Marfork Coal Company, Inc. (Marfork) (plaintiff) filed suit in federal district court against David Smith, Amber Nitchman, and other members of various environmental groups (defendants) after the defendants unlawfully trespassed onto Marfork’s property to protest Marfork’s mountaintop coal-mining activities. Marfork sought compensatory and punitive damages stemming from property and tree damage. During Nitchman’s deposition, Nitchman admitted liability on behalf of the named defendants. Marfork’s counsel asked Nitchman questions designed to elicit the names of individuals who may have participated in or assisted with the trespass but had not been named as defendants. Nitchman’s attorney objected to the line of questioning and requested a stay of the deposition until the district court could decide whether Nitchman was required to answer the questions.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Vandervort, J.)

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