Death of Bridge Owner Delays Baseball Field Lawsuit

A lawsuit that had been filed against the late Francis E. Reilley – who the Marshall County Board of Education believes caused the school district more than $200,000 worth of damages on the John Marshall High School baseball field – is still being pursued and is progressing, officials announced Tuesday.

In a meeting with the school district in May, Jacob Manning, an attorney handling the case, said Reilley’s death had delayed the normal process of the suit; however, the estate recently was placed in the name of Myra Kay Frye Reilley, his wife, so the case can proceed. Manning said a hearing scheduled in September in Marshall County Circuit Court will determine a trial date and any other subsequent hearings.

“It’s good we are proceeding, because it’s been a long process,” board President Roger Lewicki said.

Francis Reilley owned a198-acre tract of land adjacent to the 37-acre parcel owned by the board where John Marshall High School and its athletic fields are located. Both properties border Little Grave Creek.

In March 1997, Reilley purchased a 0.357-acre tract of land and subsequently constructed a bridge there to create access from his property to Wheeling Avenue in Glen Dale.

The board alleges the bridge was constructed in a floodway area of the creek and led to flooding that damaged the school baseball and soccer fields and equipment located on them. In addition, the civil suit alleges Reilley did not obtain permits for the bridge or subsequent work in 2000, which violated the county’s floodplain ordinance.

The results of the September hearing are scheduled to be reported at the board’s Sept. 24 meeting.

In other business, the board approved leasing two parcels of property in the Sand Hill and Mount Hope areas to Noble Energy Inc., which will drill for natural gas and related products, for $2,000 per acre. Superintendent Michael Hince said the total land amount to be leased is less than 2 acres.