When is $3 million not enough? When it’s fraud. Families of miners
killed in an explosion in West Virginia in 2010 filed a lawsuit against
the mining company, claiming they were fraudulently coerced into accepting
wrongful-death settlements. The suit claims that Massey Energy deliberately
withheld information pertinent to making settlement decisions.
In April 2010 29 miners died in a mining explosion. It was later discovered
that Massey was guilty of a number of safety violations and thus responsible
for the explosion. In fact, the company had a history of safety violations
and problems. Soon after the tragedy, however, Massey officials visited
the families of the dead miners, offering them $3 million settlements
in addition to other benefits, including health coverage and college funding.
Officials claimed they wanted to help the families and that lawsuits would
only drain funds that could go directly to them.
The families now feel duped and hope to achieve class-action status in
their suit against the mining company and its officials. For more on this