Massey Officials File Suit to Avoid Testifying about Mine Disaster

Monday, September 27, 2010
Elizabeth Chamberlin
Six members of Massey Energy’s management are balking at testifying before state and federal investigators trying to determine the cause of the Upper Big Branch Mine accident that killed 29 miners, the nation’s worst coal mining disaster in 40 years.
Massey Vice President of Safety Elizabeth Chamberlin and five other mine managers have filed suit in court to stop West Virginia’s Office of Miners Health, Safety and Training from compelling the company officials to appear for interviews with federal Mine Safety and Health Administration investigators.
Massey lawyers contend the state office is overstepping its legal authority by trying to force the six individuals to talk to federal officials—who can’t subpoena them because of restrictions in federal law.
“It is unprecedented in the history of mining accidents in this country for a substantial group of mine management to refuse to provide information which will help to prevent this kind of accident from occurring in the future,” mine safety advocate Davitt McAteer, who is conducting an independent probe of the disaster for Governor Joe Manchin, told the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Massey Managers Sue to Block Disaster Interviews (by Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette-Mail)


Leave a comment