Family of Utah Mine Collapse Victim Awarded Money

January 6, 2009

A coal company has been ordered to pay full benefits to the family of one of the six miners killed in the 2007 collapse of the Crandall Canyon mine.

An administrative judge for the Utah Labor Commission ordered Genwal Resources Inc. and Rockwood Casualty Insurance Co. to pay $565 per week for 312 weeks from the date of the cave-in to the family of Juan Carlos Payan, the Deseret News reported. That’s a total of more than $176,000.

In addition to the six miners killed on Aug. 6, 2007, three more people died in a later collapse during a failed rescue attempt. The mine was permanently closed and the miners’ bodies were never recovered.

Payan’s family said the 22-year-old miner was the main source of support for his disabled father, mother and two young siblings in Ensenada, Mexico.

The companies said they shouldn’t have to pay the full benefit amount because Payan had two other siblings working in Utah to help the family.

Judge Aurora Holley ruled on behalf of the family, the commission said.

Bret Gardner, an attorney for Genwal Resources and Rockwood Casualty Insurance, told The Associated Press that the companies have no comment because the case is still pending and “has not yet reached its final resolution.” He said the companies are considering an appeal.

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