West Virginia Record

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Two former coal miners sue manufacturers for lung disease

State Court

By Kyla Asbury | Oct 14, 2019

Coal 03

WAYNE — Two lawsuits were filed against Mine Safety Appliances Company alleging they were diagnosed with serious lung diseases after working as coal miners for many years.

Mine Safety Appliances Company, 3M Company, American Optical Corporation, Cabot CSC LLC, Aearo Technologies, Raleigh Mine and Industrial Supply, Eastern States Mine Supply, House-Hasson Hardware Company, Persinger Division and ten unknown and unnamed individuals were all named as defendants in the suits. One of the lawsuits also names Moldex-Metric Inc., Kentucky Mine Supply Company and Marco Mine Supply.

Phillip R. Collins and LaTonya Collins and Ebb N. Preece and Tamara Preece filed the lawsuits in Wayne Circuit Court late last month and early this month.

Phillip Collins and Ebb Preece claim they worked as coal miners for many years and during their employments, they used respirators that were manufactured and sold by the defendants for protection against harmful dust.

The plaintiffs claim despite wearing the respirators, they were developed complicated coal miner's pneumoconiosis, which was caused by hidden defects in and the inadequate warnings provided with the respirators.

The defendants negligently designed and manufactured the respirators' exhalation valves, which the plaintiffs claim did not have adequate protection for normal wear and tear, according to the suits.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants failed to provide adequate warning and/or instruction with regard to the respirators, failed to provide fitting instructions and failed to adequately monitor and/or test or prescribe monitoring and/or tests for persons who handled or worked with its respirators.

The respirators were defective and harmful dust leaked through them and the plaintiffs breathed in harmful dust and debris, according to the suits.

The harmful dust was not detectable to the human senses because it was too small and was odorless, the plaintiffs claimed.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are represented by Victoria Herman of Wolfe Williams & Reynolds in Mount Hope.

Wayne Circuit Court Case numbers: 19-C-132, 19-C-135

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