U.S. Judge Tosses Suit in 1968 Federal No. 9 Mine Explosion

Apr 2, 2017

A federal judge in West Virginia has tossed out a lawsuit filed by relatives of 78 miners killed in a 1968 mine explosion.

U.S. District Judge Irene Keeley.
Credit uscourts.gov

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports U.S. District Judge Irene Keeley in Clarksburg ruled Friday that laws at the time stipulated there was a two-year window to file a lawsuit after the disaster.

Former WVU professor Bonnie Stewart unearthed the memo and wrote a book called No. 9.: The 1968 Farmington Mine Disaster. NPR also aired her story about the mine disaster.

The latest lawsuit filed in 2014 was based on a federal mine inspector's memo written two years after the explosion at Consolidation Coal Co.'s No. 9 mine in Farmington indicating an alarm had been disabled. The families, who earlier had received $10,000 from the company, said they did not find out about the memo until 2008.

The disaster led to passage of the federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act.