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Miners Awarded $67.5 Million in Black-Lung Lawsuit

Our Attorneys Help Miners in Kentucky Obtain Compensation for Their Injuries

In April, a Knott County jury awarded two former coal miners $67.5 million in damages, after they claimed defective dust masks contributed to their black-lung disease. $62.5 million of the award was for punitive damages against 3M Company, the maker of the masks used by the plaintiffs. The rest of the award amount was to compensate Leslie and Michael Cox for their past and future pain and suffering.

The judgment is said to be one of the biggest ever in an Eastern Kentucky civil lawsuit.

After a 3 week trial, the jury ruled that 3M’s respirator equipment was in such a “defective and unreasonably dangerous condition” that a responsible company wouldn’t have put it on the market for miners to use. The jury ruled that the company acted with "reckless disregard" for the safety of the plaintiffs, which justified the massive punitive damage award.

What’s the Connection Between Dust Masks & Black-Lung Disease?

Dusk masks are worn by coal miners to avoid breathing dust that is produced during mining operations. Black-lung disease is an incurable disease that cuts off a person’s breathing and often leads to an early death. The disease has been associated with breathing in coal dust.

According to federal officials, black-lung disease has been found to be the cause of roughly 78,000 deaths since the late 1960s. In recent years, the disease has seen a resurgence in the Eastern Kentucky region.

Research has shown that there are a number of factors that substantially increase the symptoms of black-lung. These factors include:

  • Miners working long shifts
  • Increased mining of thinner coal seams in Central Appalachia
  • Inadequate dust-control regulations
  • Coal companies failing to comply with safety regulations

We Help Miners in Kentucky Secure the Justice they Deserve

At Goeing Goeing & McQuinn PLLC, we are committed to providing all of our clients with strong legal representation. Our legal team has more than 40 years of experience handling personal injury cases and we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. We have the resources and skills that you need to obtain the compensation you are entitled to. Let us represent you today.

Call (859) 534-9327, or contact our Eastern Kentucky personal injury attorneys to schedule your case consultation.

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