Families of 2 Maryland coal miners who were killed in a 2007 surface mine wall collapse filed a wrongful death lawsuit Thursday against Tri-Star Mining Inc. The suit claims negligence on the part of the mine's planners, operators and safety trainers and seek $4 million each for families of Dale F. Jones and Michael R. Wilt.
Jones and Wilt of Frostburg, MD, were crushed beneath thousands of tons of rock when the exposed rock face collapsed. The suit claims that miners were assured by Tri-Star of the safety of site, despite an incomplete examination of the site the day the accident occurred. They claim the examination would have revealed the wall's instability from underground mining and heavy rains.
Tri-Start agreed last May to pay $105,000 in penalties in a settlement with U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.