W. Va.: Survivor and One Victim’s Family Settle Sago Mine Lawsuits

February 28, 2008

Randal McCloy Jr., the lone survivor of the Sago Mine disaster of 2006, and the family of one victim have settled lawsuits in West Virginia against the mine’s owner.

Lawyers for McCloy and the estate of David Lewis would not disclose the terms of the settlements with International Coal Group. Both settlements were reached over the last two weeks, according to the plaintiffs’ lawyers and Kanawha County Circuit Court records.

Lawsuits filed by McCloy and Lewis’ estate against several ICG suppliers and contractors are still pending.

Ira Gamm, an ICG spokesman, declined to comment on the settlements.

“It ensures that the McCloys and their children will be comfortable, which is the important thing,” McCloy’s lawyer, Stephen Goodwin, said Tuesday. “We’re happy it’s over.”

Twelve miners died in the Jan. 2, 2006, explosion at the Sago mine.

The lawsuits alleged negligence by ICG and the other companies, including alleged failure to maintain a safe working environment. McCloy’s lawsuit said he has “endured great physical pain and suffering, permanent scarring and disfigurement, and extreme mental anguish” because of the explosion.

The families of 10 other miners who died in the explosion also filed lawsuits against Scott Depot-based ICG and several suppliers and contractors. These cases, which make similar claims, are pending in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

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