Upper Big Branch Mine Memoria in Whitesville, WV
Upper Big Branch Mine Memoria in Whitesville, WV

One Mine Explosion Lawsuit vs Feds Settled

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The widow of a West Virginia coal miner who was among 29 men killed in the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine explosion has settled a lawsuit against the federal government for $550,000.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Carolyn Diana Davis recently settled the lawsuit that accused the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration of ignoring warning signs at the mine owned by Massey Energy.

The federal lawsuit filed last year on behalf of Davis’ husband, Charles Timothy Davis, says MSHA didn’t “exercise reasonable care” and failed to inspect or report multiple safety violations.

Four investigations found worn and broken cutting equipment created a spark that ignited accumulations of coal dust and methane gas. Broken and clogged water sprayers then allowed what should have been a minor flare-up to become an inferno.

You can watch the U.S. Department of Labor’s simulation of how the explosion took place here.