- Associated Press - Saturday, January 7, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Jim Justice’s businesses have responded to a lawsuit claiming the West Virginia governor-elect’s companies have not paid for $771,268 worth of flood cleanup work after the Greenbrier resort was hit by severe flooding last year.

Lawyers representing Justice’s companies have asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed by a Texas-based company, BMS CAT, The Charleston Gazette-Mail (https://bit.ly/2iOLSZn) reported.

Justice, a billionaire businessman, is the owner of the Greenbrier resort.

The Greenbrier’s attorneys admit the flood remediation work was done on the resort’s chapel, ballroom, PGA tournament office and other buildings. But they say the Greenbrier and other Justice companies never entered into an “enforceable valid contract” with the company.

The ongoing lawsuit comes several months after BMS CAT filed a mechanic’s lien against the Justice’s companies in October for the unpaid bills, while the businessman was running for West Virginia’s highest office.

The flood remediation company filed the federal lawsuit against the Greenbrier in early December in order to enforce that lien.

In their complaint, BMS CAT’s attorneys allege the company performed the cleanup work, got the finished work approved by one of Justice’s employees, provided Justice’s companies with an invoice and repeatedly contacted them for payment.

The Greenbrier’s attorneys either deny those allegations or say BMS CAT’s complaint “mischaracterizes” and “misconstrues” the invoices that are referenced.

Justice’s press secretary, Grant Herring, did not immediately respond to questions regarding the response by Justice’s lawyers.

When the unpaid bills were first reported to the public, Herring, who was then Justice’s campaign spokesperson, provided a statement from the CEO of the resort’s insurance company that said the unpaid bill were the result of a misunderstanding. The invoices would be covered under the insurance plan in the near future.

When the lawsuit was filed in December, Herring provided a statement from Elmer Coppoolse, the Greenbrier’s chief operating officer, who said the resort hadn’t received compensation from the insurance carrier.

No such insurance plan or insurance payment is mentioned in the response to the lawsuit, the newspaper reported.

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, https://wvgazettemail.com.

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