Mediation date set in Independence Coal Company case

By Kyla Asbury | Jun 28, 2013

MADISON - A Second Amended Notice of Mediation has been filed in a lawsuit against Independence Coal Co. Inc. and Massey Energy Co.

By agreement of the parties, mediation of the matter has been reschedules to take place July 31 beginning at 10 a.m. at Ranson Law Offices. James D. Lamp will serve as the mediator, according to a notice filed June 13 in Boone Circuit Court.

Benjamin L. Mullens claimed the defendants exposed him to unsafe conditions while working in a coal feeder dump truck "under a rock wall without shield protection," which is in violation of state or federal safety regulations, according to a complaint filed June 28, 2011, in Boone Circuit Court.

Mullens claimed rocks from above broke loose in June 2009 while he was doing his job and caused serious head and facial injuries that required expenditures of large sums of money for medical and hospital treatment, both past and future.

At the time of the incident, Mullens was doing contract work for Massey Energy, owner of the property mined by Independence Coal, according to the suit.

Mullens is seeking jury judgment jointly and severally to set compensatory damages and award court costs, attorney fees and any other relief the court finds equitable. He is being represented by J. Michael Ranson, Cynthia M. Ranson, George B. Morrone III of Ranson Law Offices; and G. Patrick Jacobs of Jacobs Law Office.

The defendants are represented by Christopher D. Pence of Hardy Pence PLLC.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge William S. Thompson.

Boone Circuit Court case number: 11-C-114

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