According to legal journal The West Virginia Record, the defendants in the suit filed July 3 in the Boone, Logan, Fayette, McDowell and Mingo circuit courts include Mine Safety Appliances Co. as well as Mine Safety Appliances Co. LLC, Persinger Supply, Raleigh Mine and Industrial Supply, and Eastern States Mine Supply.

All claim they used respirators manufactured and sold by the MSA for protection against harmful dust and, according to the suit documentation, the respirators were properly donned in the intended manner and were in the same condition, the Record reported.

The plaintiffs also said in their statements that the respirators leaked substantial amounts of dust into their breathing zones, and that the leak areas were hidden and too small to be detectable; the group said the tie to the respirators as a cause of their condition was only discovered within two years of the complaint filings.

According to the Record, the miners are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest from MSA and the other defendants, but no other financial specifics were provided.