Patton Boggs Insights - January 2012 - Litigation/Courts: Appeal Of Attorney Fee Denial In Overturning Violation


A custodial firm doing business at a mine incurred some $22,000 in legal expenses fighting an order MSHA issued, then vacated. A judge ruled the company is not entitled to compensation under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA).

Since 1987, site-specific hazard awareness training had sufficed to allow employees of USA Cleaning Service and Building Maintenance to perform custodial services for the break rooms, bathrooms, offices and locker rooms at an Indiana mining operation. But, in February 2011, an MSHA inspector determined three janitors required new miner training instead, and threw them off the property until they got it. The company challenged the withdrawal order, and 10 days after MSHA issued it, the agency vacated it.

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