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CEO of coal company facing charges after 2010 mine explosion

The coal mining industry is crucial to residents of West Virginia and other states in the nation. It not only provides necessary natural resources, but also jobs within the community. But, while it is an essential job, it is also a form of employment that has many risks. Many health and safety regulations have been put in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of employees working in coal mines. However, when an employer fails to meet these mandatory regulations, serious and even fatal work accidents could occur.

According to recent reports, the CEO of the coal company Massey Energy is expected to go to trial for several criminal charges of conspiracy to violate mandatory federal mine health and safety standards. While numerous motions have been filed to delay the trial since he was indicted in November of last year, it is believed that the trial will be set soon.

Back in 2010, it was reported that 29 employees were killed in a coal mine explosion. Prosecutors are arguing that the CEO of the West Virginia mine lied to regulators and violated safety regulations, which led to the 2010 explosion. Because CEOs are not usually held accountable for such an incident, it has been claimed that this case will set a new precedent.

Mining accidents often leave miners seriously injured or even killed. Following such an incident, it is important to understand the cause of the incident. This could determine if negligence by the employer was the cause. If work safety was not up to standard and an employee was harmed or killed, the injured employee or surviving family members could seek workers' compensation. This could help cover medical bills, rehabilitation, lost wages and other similar damages.

Source:, "Coal CEO Criminally Charged Over Mining Accident that Resulted in Several Deaths: Put Profits Over Safety," Oct. 3, 2015

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Stephen P. New, Attorney at Law
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