Coal mine offers settlement to families

The new owners of the Upper Big Branch Mine will pay a huge fine and also offer to pay millions of dollars to the families of the victims of an April 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners in West Virginia.

Under the plan, the company offered $46 million dollars to the families of the 29 miners who died. They also offered to spend millions on safety improvements at the mine and to pay a multi-million dollar fine to the federal government.

The Upper Big Branch disaster is one of many industrial explosions that occur every year in this country. Fortunately, most of those explosions are not as serious as the one in West Virginia.

Our office is currently involved in handling several Pittsburgh personal injury cases relating to two separate explosions which occurred at U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works outside Pittsburgh. As in the mine disaster, the explosions at U.S. Steel are related to unsafe practices with industrial gas. At Clairton, there is a great deal of coke oven gas being generated on the premises, and that gas is highly explosive if not handled properly.

One of the cases we are handling involves a wrongful death case on behalf of a worker who left a wife and small children whereas the other case involves several people who suffered serious burn injuries.

There are many federal laws that govern how companies are supposed to handle explosive gas. In most accidents, we find that there were violations of the federal standards that caused the explosion.