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Berthold Law Firm wins case against Water Company

A jury in Charleston ruled against West Virginia American Water Company on Wednesday and awarded a former insurance claims adjuster $500,000 in a tortious interference case.

While working for Travelers Insurance, Nicole Clevinger handled claims on behalf of the water company. But when she had an issue with her personal water bill and filed a complaint with the Public Service Commission over it, she was fired from Travelers several days later — after an official with the water company contacted her boss, according to a lawsuit filed in Kanawha County Circuit Court last May.

Clevinger previously settled with Travelers, and after a three-day jury trial in front of Circuit Judge Tod Kaufman, she was awarded $300,000 for front and back wages and $200,000 for humiliation and embarrassment from WVAWC and its parent company, American Water Works, according to a verdict form. Jurors chose not to award punitive damages.

Her attorneys, Rob and Matthew Berthold & Mark Atkinson of Atkinson & Polak, said Thursday jurors took about 3 1/2 hours to deliberate Wednesday.

“We’re glad Ms. Clevinger has been able to tell her story to a jury and we’re pleased with the verdict,” Rob Berthold said. Find the rest of the story on the WV Gazette.