W.Va. SC affirms $2M verdict for miner

Steve Korris May 5, 2011, 9:37am

Chief Justice Robin Davis

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Legal Newsline) - West Virginia Supreme Court justices chose not to second guess Boone County jurors who awarded coal miner Stanley Stevenson almost $2 million for a wrist injury.

On April 28, the justices affirmed a verdict holding Independence Coal liable for an accident in its Justice No. 1 mine near Madison.

"Certainly, Stevenson may have been negligent himself in what he did," the Justices wrote in an unsigned opinion. "However, the extent of his negligence, if any, was a jury question.

"In this action, under the disputed facts a reasonable jury could have rationally found for the plaintiff."

Stevenson worked as a beltman for Spartan Mining in 2005, on assignment at Justice No. 1. At the start of a shift he drove a mantrip, a rail vehicle that carries men, equipment and supplies.

After 10 minutes, he and three others in the mantrip heard a rattle and smelled heat. He stopped on a spur, where the miners determined that bolts holding a brake assembly to a brake mount had loosened.

Editor's note: To view the entire article, visit the West Virginia Record.

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