MADISON - Three estate handlers for victims of the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion have joined the list of plaintiffs in Boone Circuit Court seeking jury judgments for a variety of awards.

Amanda Atkins, Administratrix for the Estate of Jason Atkins of Foster (Case number 11-C-71) seeks to recover compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages from those alleged to have caused, or contributed, to her husband's death.

Defendants named are Performance Coal Co., Inc.; Massey Coal Services, Inc.; Don Blankenship (CEO) and Massey Energy Co., plus 14 individuals from MEC's Board of Directors and unknown defendants 1-10.

Other eligible beneficiaries for payment of damages, the complaint says, include Atkins' mother, father and brother. Atkins worked underground for Performance Coal, which has a principal office in Boone County.

The suit mentions Blankenship "exerted personal control over day to day management activities of the Upper Big Branch Mine ..." as Massey Energy CEO, while Massey Coal Services also had a role in operations.

Boone Circuit Court has added case numbers 11-C-72 and 11-C-73 to its large group of complaints stemming from the UBB blast that are similarly styled against the aforementioned defendants. Now included are Laura Chapman for the Estate of Kenneth Chapman and Shelby King, Administratrix of the Estate of Nicholas McCroskey.

Atkins' counsel is Madison Attorney Wendle D. Cook. Chapman is represented by Warrne R. McGraw II of Prosperity and the King complaint has Charleston Attorney Michael J. Del Giudice.

Trial dates were not scheduled as of April 13 in Judge William S. Thompson's Court, which had seven sealed cases among the total of 21 relative to the UBB event.

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