Two years ago, a West Virginia coal mine killed 29 men. The mine will now be permanently sealed with concrete. Meanwhile, the mother and siblings of one of those killed, Edward Dean Jones, sued former Massey Energy chief Don Blankenship, along with eight individuals they hold responsible for the worst US coal mining disaster in four decades. The lawsuit claims deliberate infliction of emotional distress and demands compensatory and punitive damages.
The lawsuit goes after individuals instead of the company as the plaintiffs claim that they should have put workers’ lives ahead of profits. The losses of the 29 men could have been prevented had the necessary safety precautions been taken and corners not cut. So far, only two Massey employees have faced criminal charges.