Coal Miner's Widow and Family Obtain $8.5 Million Settlement

Fitzsimmons Law Firm PLLC has obtained an $8.5 Million recovery for the widow and family of a coal miner who was wrongfully killed in an underground mining incident. The coal miner was killed when he was struck by a large piece of coal and rock that fell from the face after blasting work. The plaintiffs filed their wrongful death lawsuit against the miner’s employer alleging that it intentionally exposed him to unsafe working conditions in violation of W.Va. Code § 23-4-2(d)(2)(ii) as well as the employer’s parent and affiliated companies alleging that they failed to provide the miner with a reasonably safe place to work.

According to the Complaint, the defendants intentionally exposed the plaintiffs’ decedent to specific unsafe working conditions by violating, disregarding, circumventing, and by-passing applicable safety statutes, rules, and/or regulations, together with commonly accepted and well-known safety standards within the coal mining industry, and were otherwise negligent, by: failing to properly support or otherwise control the coal face to protect against hazards related to falls of face prior to directing the plaintiffs’ decedent to work in the area adjacent to the face; failing to develop and implement a proper roof control plan; and failing to identify and ignoring hazardous and dangerous working conditions and, in particular, a crack in the face which indicated that the face was not stable. The plaintiffs further alleged that the defendants violated state and federal mine safety regulations and standards. Here, the specific unsafe working conditions violated, inter alia, 30 C.F.R. §§ 75.202(a) and 75.203(a); CSR §§ 36-10-31, 36-10-5.6(4), 36-6-7.6; W.Va. Code § 22A-2-25(f), 22A-2-25(b), 22A-2-33(b); and 22A-2-33(a).

At the time of the incident, plaintiffs’ decedent was in his 40s and was survived his wife, children, siblings, and parent. The settlement included damages for the plaintiffs’ decedent’s lost wages, loss of his household services, pre-death pain and suffering, and all damages under West Virginia's wrongful death statute, including damages for the loss of the decedent’s society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices, advice, services, protection, care and assistance and the severe and extreme mental anguish and solace suffered and endured by each of the wrongful death beneficiaries.

Fitzsimmons Law Firm has a proud history of representing coal miners and other workers across West Virginia who have been injured or killed in work-related incidents, explosions, and exposures. The Fitzsimmons Firm has obtained over $1 Billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of its clients, including 190 results over $1 Million.

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