Massey personal injury lawsuit settled

By Kyla Asbury | Jul 3, 2013

MADISON - A lawsuit against Massey Energy Company regarding the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster was settled and dismissed from Boone Circuit Court in October.

AT Massey Coal Co.; Massey Coal Sales Company; Massey Coal Services Inc.; Don Blankenship; and Performance Coal Company were also named as defendants in the suit.

On Oct. 9, both parties came and represented to the Court that the matter in dispute between them had been compromised and settled, according to the dismissal order.

Scott Durwin Halstead was working in Boone County as an employee of Performance Coal Co. when the April 2010 underground explosion occurred at Upper Big Branch Mine, according to a complaint filed Dec. 16, 2011 in Boone Circuit Court.

Halstead claimed the defendants' “negligent, intentional and reckless conduct…” caused the explosion resulting in 29 fatalities, with safety statutes and regulations violated.

Halstead was completing his shift when the explosion happened and he suffered permanent physical and emotional injuries, including brain injuries, according to the suit.

Halstead and his wife, Leota Cook, were seeking for jury judgment for an amount that would adequately and fairly compensate him and his wife, plus pre- and post-judgment interests, litigation expenses, and such other relief Court deems appropriate, including punitive damages. They were represented by Anthony J. Sparacino.

The case was assigned to Circuit Judge William S. Thompson

Boone Circuit Court case number: 11-C-232

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