Wrongful Death Suit Settled in Mining Disaster

January 19, 2012

Wrongful Death

wrongful death mining disasterFew would argue that mining is among the most dangerous occupations. Sweating among pilings hundreds of feet underground poses all manner of risk; but when a company intentionally avoids repairing serious problems – indeed, denies they exist – a disaster is imminent.

A settlement has been reached in lawsuit stemming from a devastating mining accident that killed 29 miners in April, 2010. It was the worst such disaster in over 40 years.

Two agencies, as well as an independent panel established by the governor of West Virginia to investigate the accident, agree that Massey Energy ignored a dangerous build-up of methane gas and coal dust in the mine. Further, the mine owner failed to maintain water sprayers that could have helped extinguish the fire that erupted and rapidly inundated tunnels where miners worked. The Mine Safety and Health Administration stated in its final report that the company even kept two sets of inspection books – a phony one and an accurate one – and engaged in “systematic, intentional, and aggressive efforts” to avoid and hide the problems which caused the disaster.

Families of the 29 victims had previously been offered $3 million apiece for their loss. However, while some accepted the money, others refused, stating that a price could not be put on the loss of their loved one. The final settlement figures are confidential, but one representative of the family suggested that true closure to the disaster could occur if company management were prosecuted. Indeed, one individual has already been convicted. He will be sentenced in April.

This tragedy dramatically illustrates how neglect and greed can lead to disaster. Wrongful death cases take various forms, but the common issue is the untimely loss of life due to the fault of another.

If you have lost a loved one in an accident, contact the Ohio wrongful death lawyers Slater & Zurz LLP for a FREE consultation by calling 1-800-297-9191 or send a Blog Message to schedule a time to talk.

To learn more about wrongful death, please visit www.slaterzurz.com

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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