UtahAmerican Energy Announces Settlement

All of the plaintiffs and defendants in the civil lawsuits stemming from the August 2007 accidents at Genwal Resource, Inc.’s Crandall Canyon mine have reached a comprehensive settlement for a confidential amount, according to a joint statement issued by all parties involved. The settlement culminates almost a year of negotiations between 16 groups of plaintiffs, seven defendants (five companies and two public entities) and six insurance companies.

“The geomechanics of coal mining under a mountain are extremely complex and difficult to assess. We have spent considerable time and effort attempting to determine what happened at the Crandall Canyon mine. And while we have learned from the accidents, we realize that no one may ever know what actually caused those accidents,” said Jason W. Hardin, an attorney for UtahAmerican.

The settlement comes less than two years after a massive bounce entombed six miners at the Crandall Canyon mine. Three more men lost their lives trying to rescue the miners. Although the terms were confidential, The Salt Lake Tribune described it as the largest settlement in Utah mining history, exceeding the $22 million agreement reached with heirs of 27 miners killed in a 1984 fire at the Wilberg mine.

Resolving the civil cases does not impact an ongoing criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the U.S. Attorney for Utah said his office is still gathering information for the probe requested by the MSHA’s disaster investigation team and a U.S. congressman.

As featured in Womp 2009 Vol 05 - www.womp-int.com