More settlements reached in Sago cases

By Cara Bailey | May 1, 2008

CHARLESTON - More settlements are being reached in the suits filed by families of miners involved in the 2006 Sago Mine disaster.

Lawyers for the miners' families say they have reached a tentative settlement with two suppliers named in the lawsuits.

Attorney Timothy Bailey said Kanawha Circuit Court Chief Judge Charles King must approve the settlement in a June 2 hearing.

The amount of the settlement has not been disclosed.

The settlement involves Burrell Mining Products of New Kensington, Pa., and Raleigh Mine and Industrial Supply of Mount Hope. These companies produced and distributed the foam Omega seals used to close off an abandoned section of the mine where the explosion occurred.

This is the second group of settlements for Sago victims.

Randal McCloy, Jr., the lone survivor of the accident, and the family of David Lewis reached settlements in February, with International Coal Group, the company that owns Sago.

The terms of that settlement were also not disclosed.

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.

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