Couple sues Rockspring for lung injury

By Kyla Asbury | Apr 2, 2015

PINEVILLE - A couple is suing Rockspring Development Inc. for the development of a lung injury.

Alpha Appalachia Services Inc. and Maxxim Shared Services are also named as defendants in the suit.

Alex Spaulding was employed by Rockspring from 1996 until May 13, 2013, according to a complaint filed March 18 in Wyoming Circuit Court.

Spaulding claims during the time periods he worked in the underground mining industry, the defendants were required under federal and state mining laws and industry safety standards to produce coal in a manner consistent with the MSHA Mandatory Health Standards for Underground Coal Mines.

Spaulding was diagnosed with complicated pneumoconiosis as a result of being exposed to silica and coal dust, according to the suit, and with proper workplace protections, he should not have been exposed to the silica and coal dust, making his lung disease 100 percent preventable.

Spaulding claims the defendants had a duty to provide him with a safe place to work as his employer as required under federal, state and industry workplace safety regulations and practices.

The defendants failed to warn Spaulding of the risks and health effects of working with or around coal and silica dust, in complete disregard of the knowledge they had acquired regarding the dangers of health effects of coal and silica dust exposure, according to the suit.

Spaulding claims the defendants had actual knowledge of the existence of the specific unsafe working condition and high degree of risk and the strong probability of serious injury of death presented by the specific unsafe working condition.

The defendants' negligence caused Judy Spaulding, Alex Spaulding's wife, to suffer mental anguish because of her husband's injuries, according to the suit.

The Spauldings are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Timothy C. Bailey and J. Ryan Stewart of Bucci, Bailey & Javins LC; and Gregory A. Lofstead of Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman LLC.

Wyoming Circuit Court case number: 15-C-52

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