According to the New York Times, a comprehensive investigation assembled by a team of independent contractors discovered a “pattern of negligence” caused the 2010 West Virginia coal mine disaster that resulted in the deaths of 29 workers.
Allegedly, Massey Energy failed to observe basic safety standards and operated in “a profoundly reckless manner,” citing a jury-rigged ventilation system, equipment with dysfunctional safety mechanisms, and an accumulation of coal dust. The latter was ultimately the cause of the tragedy, according to the team’s findings. Coal dust is extremely explosive and the machine used to remove the dust was often out-of-order.
Massey Energy, the owners of the coal mine, insists that the explosion was the result of a spontaneous release of one million cubic feet of methane. The investigation, however, found the company’s explanation did not line up with the evidence they discovered.
Workplace negligence puts employees at risk for injury or even death. Workers have the right to a safe work environment and are entitled to certain protections in the event of injury. Often, when an on-the-job injury occurs, employers and insurance companies are quick to dismiss claims for workers’ compensation, claiming that an employee is exaggerating their injuries or insisting that the injury developed outside of work. Our workers’ compensation attorneys are familiar with the tactics employers and insurance companies use to avoid paying due compensation, and have gotten justice for many victims of Atlanta workplace accidents.
In cases of gross negligence like the events that led to the West Virginia coal mine disaster, when conditions become deadly, the surviving family has the right to seek financial compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one. The family may be eligible in such cases to recover compensation for funeral expenses, pain and suffering, lost earnings, and any medical expenses incurred in an effort to save the victim’s life. While financial compensation cannot bring a loved one back, it can prevent the employer from future negligent behavior.
Our Atlanta wrongful death attorneys understand the emotional and financial burden associated with a wrongful death, and will fight to protect your family. Contact us for a risk-free, no-cost case evaluation. Our firm has extensive experience with wrongful death.