Barbour County man sues for 2005 Sago Mine incident

By Cara Bailey | Feb 9, 2007

CHARLESTON - A Barbour County man has filed a suit against International Coal Group and Wolf Run Mining Company after he was injured at the Sago Mine in Upshur County.

Charles Donegia and Melanie Donegia filed a suit Jan. 29 in Kanawha Circuit Court against ICG, the owner of Sago Mine. Charles Donegia was employed by Anker West Virginia Mining Company, which is now Wolf Run Mining Company, as a roof bolting machine operator.

On Nov. 7, 2005, Donegia was struck by a falling rib of coal and rock, forced to the floor of the mine and covered with rock and coal debris. The rib collapse caused severe personal injuries to Donegia.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration and the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training investigated the incident. Citations were issued by both for violations of federal and state mining laws.

The suit says no pre-shift examination was performed prior to the start of work by the evening shift on Nov. 7, 2005. Also, the suit says Wolf Run Mining and IGC routinely failed or refused to perform pre-shift examinations, provide training to the exams and falsified records of the training.

Because of the lack of examinations to the mine, Donegia claims IGC and Wolf Run Mining were negligent in their duties to ensure the mine was safe.

Sago Mine is the site of the worst mine tragedy in recent state history. Twelve miners were killed in a blast there last January, two months after Donegia's incident. Several lawsuits have stemmed from that fatal event.

The Donegias' five daughters also are named as plaintiffs in the case, saying they lost support after their father was injured.

The Donegias seek compensatory damages, both severely and jointly, and punitive damages. They are being represented by Bradley R. Oldaker, and the case has been assigned to Judge Jennifer Bailey Walker.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-193

More News

The Record Network