Mining Safety Expert Witness Testifies In Massey Energy CEO Criminal Case

Mining safety witness Tracy Stumbo testified in the criminal case against former Massey Energy Co. CEO Don Blankenship. The retired Kentucky state mine safety investigator described coal mining safety practices that prevent mine explosions, including proper ventilation and cleanup of coal dust. The April 2010 Upper Big Branch disaster killed 29 workers and Blankenship is facing felony charges including violating mine safety standards and covering up hazards to miners. Miner Stanley Stewart described the mine conditions: “The company wanted you to mine whether you had insufficient air or good air. “(There was) pressure to load coal at any cost.”

The defendant is also charged with making false statements to securities regulators and with securities fraud. The prosecution charges Blankenship with issuing false public statements regarding Massey Energy’s safety practices in an attempt to stop the company’s stock from tanking.

 

 

About Karen Olson

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