McCloy, Sago victim's family settle with ICG

By Cara Bailey | Feb 27, 2008


CHARLESTON - The lone survivor of the Sago Mine explosion and a family of one of the 12 victims have settled lawsuits against mine's owner.

Randal McCloy Jr. and the estate of miner David Lewis have reached settlements within the last two weeks with International Coal Group, the Putnam County-based company that owns the mine.

The terms of the settlement were not announced. However, McCloy's attorney, Stephen Goodwin, said his client is very pleased with the outcome.

"We feel it's very fair for all concerned," Goodwin said Wednesday. "We're glad we're able to resolve it and let everybody move on down the road with their lives."

The cases against ICG suppliers and contractors still are pending, but Goodwin said he thinks they will be resolved within the next few weeks.

Attorney Jeff Robinette is representing the Lewis estate.

Suits have also been filed on behalf of the estates of 10 other miners and are pending in Kanawha Circuit Court. Only the family of section foreman Martin Toler Jr. has not filed a suit.

The suits were filed after the explosion Jan. 2, 2006. In the worst mining disaster in West Virginia in 40 years, the miners were trapped for 41 hours.

McCloy was the only survivor. His lawsuit said he suffered "great physical pain and suffering, permanent scarring and disfigurement, and extreme mental anguish."

McCloy spent several months in the hospital and suffered brain damages from carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to the suit, ICG and the other companies were negligent and failed to maintain a safe environment. The suits also cite safety violations prior to the disaster, the lack of required anti-lightning equipment and poor construction of the mine seals.

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