Mining Expert Witnesses & Former Massey Energy CEO Indictment

Find Expert WitnessWhat areas are mining expert witnesses proficient in?  They may consult on the mining industry, surface and underground mining, tunneling, mining safety, and more. Former Massey Energy Co. chief executive Don Blankenship was indicted last week on federal charges that he recklessly ignored safety standards at the Upper Big Branch mine.  The 2010 explosion killed 29 men.  Charges include conspiracy to violate mandatory federal mine safety and health standards, conspiracy to impede federal mine safety officials, and making false statements to the SEC, as well as securities fraud.

Mine safety experts state that explosions are typically caused by high levels of methane produced during longwall mining.  Massey was repeatedly cited for violating ventilation requirements in dealing with methane.

At msha.gov, the Assistant Secretary For Mine Safety & Health states:

At the root of the disaster was a corporate culture cultivated by Massey Energy — a company that valued production over safety, created fear and intimidation in its workers, and broke the law as it endangered the lives of miners.

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