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Morgan complaint

Morgan complaint

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Published by: kcoleman7239 on Mar 09, 2011
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03/09/2011

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IN
THE
CIRCUIT
COURTOF
BOONE
COUNTY,
WEST
VIRGINIA
TAMMY
MORGAN,
Individually
and
as
Administratrix
of
theEstate
of
Adam
K.
Morgan,
vs.
Civil
Action
No.
ll-C-
cÇ(Q)WV'1r
r7
t/
Plaintiff,
MASSEY
ENERGY
COMPANY,
a
Delaware
corporation,
MASSEY
COAL
SERVICES,
INC.,
a
West
Virginia
corporation,
PERFORMANCE
COAL
COMPANY,
a
WestVirginia
corporation,
(j')
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C)
t"-,::=
CO]
_.u.
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C"":.l
c")
C)
Defendants.
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r--
r
,--,
rA.-
",-1'1","__.
~~~:~:-<
COMPLAINT
C)
r-'l
o
C/'\
Comes
now
Tammy
Morgan,
individually
and
as
the
Administratrix
of
the
Estate
of
Adam
K.
Morgan,
and
sets
forth
her
Complaintagainst
the
defendants
named
herein.
Introduction
This
Complaint
is
filedagainst
the
named
defendants
as
a
result
of
a
mine
explosion
at
the
Upper
Big
Branch
Mine
(MSHA
ID
46-08436)
on
April
5,
2010.
Twenty-nine
miners,
including plaintiff's
decedent,
Adam
K.
Morgan,
were
killed
in
this
mine
explosionand
other
miners
were
severely
injured.
Based
upon
information
learned
throughthe
investigating
agencies
of
the
state
and
federal
government,
the
plaintiff
files
this
Complaint
against
the
defendants
seeking
compensatory
and
punitive
damages
as
a
result
of
the
willful,
wanton
and
recklessly
unsafe
manner
in
which
thedefendants
operated
the
Upper
Big
Branch
Mine
andcaused
the
 
death
of
her
decedent.
Defendant
Performance
Coal,
as
decedent's
employer,
is
liable
to
the
plaintiff
for
its
violation
of
West
Virginia's
deliberate
exposure
law
whereas
Performance,
by
its
agents,
knowinglyexposed
the
decedent to
specific
unsafe
working
conditionscontrary
to
federal,
state
and
industry
safe
workplace
regulations
and
standards.
Defendant
Massey
Coal
Services,
Inc.,
is
an
affiliated
butseparate
company
from
Performance
Coal,
but
as
a
Massey
Energy
subsidiary,
voluntarilyor
by
direction
of
parent
Massey
Energy,
undertook
certain
engineering
and
safety
duties
at
the
Upper
Big
Branch
Mine
which
it
failed,
through
its
employeesand
agents,
to
perform
in
a
reasonably
prudent
manner.
As
such,
Massey
Coal
Services,
Inc.,
is
liable
to
the
plaintiff
for
its
acts
and
omissions
which
proximately
caused
the
death
of
plaintiff
s
decedent.
DefendantMassey
Energy
Company,
is
the
parent
of,
but
separate
from,
Performance
Coal.
Massey
Energy,
by
and
through
its
agents,
including,
but
not
limited
to
CEO
Don
Blankenship
andmembers
of
its
Board
of
Directors,
were
intimately
involvedin
the
mining
activities
at
the
Upper
Big
BranchMine.
Don
Blankenship
was
actually
aware
of
theunsafe
manner
inwhich
the
Upper
Big
Branch
Mine
was
operated
as
his
involvement
necessarily
included
his
knowledge
of
the
staggeringnumber
of
safety
violations
issued
by
safety
authorities
toPerformance
Coal
related
to
the
Upper
Big
Branch
Mine
prior
to
the
explosion.Members
of
the
Massey
Energy
Board
of
Directors
likewisevoluntarily
assumed
active
duties
and
responsibilities
for
the
monitoringandoversight
of
workplace
safety
compliance
atsubsidiary
mines
such
as
Upper
Big
Branch
by
way
of
a
written
settlement
agreement
to
a
shareholder
derivative
suitexecuted
on
June
30,
2008.
The
intimate
involvement
by
Don
Blankenship
in
the
2
 
activities
at
Upper
Big
Branch
and
his
knowledge
of
the
abysmal
safety
record
of
the
mine
reflect
a
gross
negligent
or
reckless
indifference
to
workplace
safety
and
as
a
result
as
an
agent
of
Massey
Energy,
Don
Blankenship's
negligent
or
reckless
management
in
the
operations
at
Upper
Big
Branch
make
Massey
Energy
liable
to
plaintiff
for
the
death
of
her
decedent.Furthermore,
the
negligentand
reckless
mannerin
which
the
members
of
theBoard
of
Directors
performed
orfailed
to
perform
the
safety
oversight
and
management
duties
they
voluntarily
assumed
in
thesettlement
of
the
shareholder
derivative
suit,
resulted
in
the
Upper
Big
Branch
Mine
continuing
to
operate
when
a
reasonably
prudent
Board
would
have
shut
itdown
or
made
management
changes
to
ensure
the
minewas
operated
in
compliance
with
state,
federal
and
industrysafety
standards.
As
such,
Massey
Energy
is
liable
to
the
plaintiff
for
the death
of
her
decedent
by
way
of
the
negligent
and
reckless
acts
of
its
Officers
and
its
Board
of
Directors.
Facts
1.
Plaintiff
Tammy
Morgan
is
the
mother
and
personal
representative
of
the
Estate
of
Adam
K.
Morgan
who
was
killed
on
AprilS,
2010,
inthe
mine
explosion
in
the
Performance
Coal
Company
Upper
Big
Branch
Mine.
2.
PlaintiffTammy
Morgan
is
a
citizen
and
resident
of
Wyoming
County,
West
Virginia,
and
was
duly
appointed
the
Administratrix
of
the
Estate
of
Adam
K.
Morgan
on
April
19,2010.
3.
Defendant
Performance
Coal
Company("Performance"),
is
a
West
Virginia
corporation
with
its
principle
place
of
business
located
at
Montcoal,
West
Virginia.
It
is
engaged
in
the
business
of
extracting
and
selling
coal
frommining
operations
in
Booneand
Raleigh
3

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