Stanley argued Wednesday that MSHA's inspectors allowed for the deplorable safety conditions later cited by the agency's investigation of the fire.
"Clearly, the condition of the mine worsened as a result of the lack of overall inspection and attention to general mine policies," Stanley said. "Nothing was ever done to make this mine safer in those last two years up until this fire."
Kingsley cited federal court decisions and similar laws in other states that he said shield MSHA from the lawsuit. He also said prior rulings involving the aircraft industry and a landlord's duty to tenants support MSHA's stance that it did not have the special relationship required to satisfy the legal standard sought by the widows.
Ruling in favor of the widows would also allow Aracoma to sue the government, Kingsley warned."That to me is an insane proposition," Kingsley told the justices. Cabell Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell heard the case in the place of Justice Brent Benjamin. A 2009 U.S. Supreme Court decision bars Benjamin from hearing any cases involving Massey after its then-chief executive, Don Blankenship, spent more than $3 million to help Benjamin win election in 2004. Massey has since been acquired by Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources Inc. ____ Online: Court filings in Bragg & Hatfield vs. U.S.: http://bit.ly/Tullv9 Follow Lawrence Messina at http://twitter.com/lmessina
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV