BECKLEY– On the eighth anniversary of the UBB Mine Disaster, the widow of one of the 29 men lost that day filed a lawsuit against MSHA.
Bruce Stanley of Stanley and Schmitt Attorneys at Law out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is the lawyer for Carolyn Diana Davis who lost her husband Charles on April 5, 2010 in UBB explosion. Stanley says Davis filed a claim with the Department of Labor within one year of the explosion. On October 19, 2017 her claimed was denied. After that, she had 6 months to file a lawsuit if she desired. Stanley said they have been working on their case since then and it just worked out perfectly that they could file the lawsuit on the anniversary of the deadly disaster.
Don Blankenship has also claimed that MSHA is to blame in this case, not him. Stanley says their lawsuit does not side with Blankenship. In fact, he says they believe both MSHA and Massey Energy are to blame.
“There can be more than one cause or contributing factor to an injury and here we think that responsibility is a shared responsibility between Massey and Don Blankenship and MSHA. That is what inspectors are for.”
The lawsuit says MSHA should have undertaken inspections and enforcement in a competent and non-negligent manner and its failure to do so contributed to the disaster.
Stanley says although MSHA is the watchdog for the mining companies, sometimes even the watchdog needs a watchdog and that is why he has filed this lawsuit.