West Virginia Record

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Barbour man sues ICG for incident at Sago Mine

By Cara Bailey | Jul 10, 2007

CHARLESTON - A Barbour County man has filed a lawsuit against International Coal Group after a slab of roof rock fell on him while he was working at the Sago Mine.

Ralph E. Mitchell filed the suit July 10 in Kanawha Circuit Court against ICG, Anker Coal Group and Wolf Run Mining Company.

According to the lawsuit, Mitchell, a continuous mine operator, was working in Sago on Aug. 10, 2005. The suit says that while operating the continuous mining machine, Mitchell was hit in the head, back and foot by a piece of rook rock. Mitchell claims he was forced to lay face down on the mine floor, and sustained severe and permanent injuries.

The rock, which mine inspectors measured to be 36 inches by 28 inches by 10 inches, had been dislodged from the roof.

According to the suit, the U.S. Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration and the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training investigated the incident. The suit says the West Virginia mine inspector noted that the roof was not supported or controlled to protect people from roof falls.

Mitchell claims supervisors at the mine failed to conduct pre-shift examination prior to starting the work Aug. 10, which helped contribute to the rock falling.

As a result of the incident, Mitchell seeks compensatory and punitive damages, in an amount determined by a jury. Pittsburgh attorney Signe O'Brien Rudberg is representing Mitchell.

The case has been assigned to Judge Irene Berger.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-1403

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