MORGANTOWN - A Monongalia County woman has filed a wrongful death suit against a coal mining company after her husband was killed in a roof collapse.
Gena Elliott filed a suit June 15 in Monongalia Circuit Court on behalf of herself and her children, Nicholas and Sophia Elliott. The suit is against Dana Mining Company.
According to the suit, John Elliott was employed as a mechanic by Dana Mining, and worked in the Prime No. 1 underground mine near Maidsville.
The suit states there was a roof fall Dec. 15, 2006, in the mine, and no supplemental roof support was installed.
On Dec. 17, Kenneth Losh, the foreman, inspected the mine, but failed to inspect the areas the crew would travel through, the suit says.
"Rather than carefully and thoroughly examine the mine for hazards, Losh cut short his examination and returned to the surface to get Gary Mayle, miner operator, and …John Elliott, a mechanic, to start work early to clean the shuttle cars and water down the roadways prior to the midnight shift arrival," the suit says.
According to the suit, Losh, Mayle and Elliott entered the mine on a two-person rubber tire personnel carrier, with Losh and Mayle in the seats. Elliott was in the middle, facing backwards.
While they were traveling a portion of the roof 28 feet long, 20 feet wife and more than five feet thick fell. Mayle and Losh saw it falling and were able to get off the carrier.
According to the suit, Elliott "attempted to exit the ride, but due to his placement wedged in as the third person on a two-person rubber tired personnel carrier, (he) was unable to effectively maneuver himself away from the ride and was crushed against the back of the personnel carrier by the falling roof."
Gena Elliott claims in the suit that the actions of the company and its employees caused the pain, suffering and death of John Elliott.
She seeks compensation for the damages and expenses sustained by the fatal injuries of her husband.
Gena Elliott is being represented by attorney Timothy Bailey.
Monongalia Circuit Court case number 07-C-388