Injured miner blames Arch Coal for alleged unsafe conditions

By Robert Hadley | Mar 22, 2016

BECKLEY – A Logan County man is suing his ex-employer, claiming they knowingly allowed unsafe conditions at their worksite, causing him serious, permanent injuries.

James Claypool filed a lawsuit March 11 in Raleigh Circuit Court against Arch Coal Inc., Arch Energy Resources, LLC, ICG Beckley LLC, ICG Inc., ICG LLC, ICG Eastern Land LLC, ICG Eastern LLC and ICG National Resources LLC, alleging violations of West Virginia safety rules.

According to the complaint, Claypool was using a tractor to haul rock dust at the defendants' Beckley Pocahontas mine when he became entangled in overhead rope and cable hangers that protruded in a route at the mine, causing him to lose consciousness.

The suit says Arch allowed the suspended hangers to partially obstruct the route without providing a canopy or warning signs to protect employees. As a result of his injuries, the plaintiff says, he suffered pain, mental anguish, lost wages and benefits, permanent impairment and loss of earning capacity.

Claypool seeks a jury trial and compensatory damages in an amount to be determined at trial, plus interest and litigation costs. Since the defendant has filed for bankruptcy, the suit says Claypool is seeking compensation solely from insurance coverage. He is represented by attorneys Brett J. Preston and Dan R. Snuffer of Preston & Salango PLLC in Charleston.

Raleigh Circuit Court Case number 16-C-142-K

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