West Virginia Record

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Wyoming Co. miner accuses coal mines of harmful safety violations

By Robert Hadley | Nov 23, 2015

Coal mining

PINEVILLE – A former coal miner says violations of safety rules by Big River Mining and other previous employers subjected him to harmful coal and silica dust.

Aaron Lively and Jessica Lively filed suit July 23 in Wyoming Circuit Court against Big River Mining, Marfork Coal Co. Inc., Massey Energy Co., Alpha Appalachia Sevices Inc. and Terry Eagle Coal Co. Inc., citing deliberate intent, malice, tort of outrage, negligence and loss of spousal consortium.

According to the complaint, Lively, a coal miner since 1989, was diagnosed with complicated pneumoconiosis resulting from exposure to the dust, which is often invisible to the naked eye.

Lively says three former employers, Big River Mining, Marfork Coal Co. Inc. and Terry Eagle Coal Co. Inc., knowingly failed to adhere to federal, state and industry safety laws and standards, subjecting him and other miners to unsafe conditions.

The three employers are also charged with falsifying tests of mine air to meet safety guidelines. Other defendants, Massey Energy Co. and Alpha Appalachia Services Inc., are accused of promoting unsafe operation of mines with which they did business.

Lively and his wife seek a jury trial and punitive and compensatory damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, and attorneys’ fees. They are represented by Timothy C. Bailey and J. Ryan Stewart of the Charleston law firm of Bucci, Bailey & Javins.

Wyoming Circuit Court case number 15-C-144

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Bucci, Bailey and Javins