Court: Goodwin can no longer stoke the flames of woodstove dispute




LANSING-When those cool, crisp evenings return to the High Country next fall, Nick and Michelle Slaton will have the option to once again fire up their wood stove.

The Slatons came to an agreement with Diana Goodwin in Ashe County Civil Superior Court Wednesday afternoon that resolved an ongoing dispute between the neighbors that centered around the couple’s operation of a woodstove.

Goodwin had previously filed a civil suit against the couple because she claimed the smoke from their woodstove caused her undue stress and health problems.

Much of Goodwin’s claim rested upon the assertion that the Slaton’s stove was not properly installed, and that the smoke it produces drifts onto her property, according to court records. At one time, Goodwin approached the Lansing Board of Aldermen, of which Michelle Slaton serves on, in regard to the issue.

As part of the agreement, Goodwin will retract all the statements she made about the Slatons pertaining to her lawsuit as well as the couple’s woodstove.

In a countersuit, the couple had claimed that Goodwin’s comments about the stove were defamatory in nature and damaging to their home improvement business.

Goodwin declined to comment following the conclusion of the case.

“I can’t tell you anything,” Goodwin said when approached outside the courtroom Wednesday afternoon.

Nick Slaton didn’t speculate on what changed her course of action in retracting the statements when he was approached for comment by the Jefferson Post.

“I can’t make any comment about her feelings or thoughts and wouldn’t like to make any comments about her,” said Slaton.

Overall, the Slatons said they were “happy” with the outcome of the case.

“We would also like to have the opportunity to clear our name of any wrongdoing,” said Slaton. “That’s what we always wanted, an understanding we had done nothing wrong and that we would like to move forward and pass this situation and get on with our lives.”

When asked if he would resume the stove’s operations in the future, Slaton was concise in his response.

“That’s certainly within our right,” he said.

Reach Jesse Campbell at 336-846-7164.

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