Family of West. Va. Miner Killed in Roof Fall Sues Coal Company

July 2, 2007

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against a coal company by the family of a miner who was killed in a roof fall.

John David Elliott, 26, of Morgantown was killed Dec. 17 at Dana Mining Prime No. 1 mine near Maidsville. Elliott, mine foreman Ken Losh of Terra Alta and Gary Mayle were riding in a rubber-tired vehicle when the roof collapsed at an intersection. Losh and Mayle escaped unharmed, the state Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training said in a report.

Elliott’s wife, Gena, and his two children filed the lawsuit against Dana Mining in Monongalia County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit alleges that Dana Mining required John Elliott to work in an area with adverse roof conditions in violation of state law. The area was not thoroughly examined for hazards and the roof was not adequately supported after a piece of rock fell near the area two days before the accident, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit also accuses Dana Mining of having too many riders in the vehicle in violation of safety procedures.

State and federal inspectors cited Dana Mining for failing to support the roof in the area where the fall occurred.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for John Elliott’s pain and suffering, compensation for the loss of income suffered by the family, and damages for the family’s mental anguish, among other expenses.


Information from: The Dominion Post,

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