Patton Boggs Insights - December 2012: Litigation/Courts: Kentucky Mine Operator, Supervisors Plead Guilty

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A Kentucky coal mine operator and two of its supervisors have pled guilty to willful safety violations in the wake of a miner’s death. On November 7, Manalapan Mining Co., Inc. entered a plea in U.S. District Court on a charge that it directed miners to use equipment that lacked canopies or cabs to protect them from roof or rib collapses. The operator could be fined as much as $250,000. A superintendent at the P-1 Mine and the mine’s operations manager plead guilty to a similar misdemeanor charge and face up to a year in prison. The superintendent also pled guilty to signing off on safety inspection reports that failed to document hazardous conditions, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Sentencing is set for March. Previously, a foreman at the mine pled guilty to failing to identify or correct hazardous conditions and will be sentenced in January. The charges stem from the death of a miner in June 2011 in a rib collapse. The operator also faces $594,100 in MSHA fines.

 

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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