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.
The plantiffs include Ronald Hatfield and Rebecca Hatfield; Billy Williams and Delilah Williams; Derrick Thompson and Connie Thompson; Ballard Taylor and Linda Taylor; David Crum and Kelly Jo Crum; Randolph Farley and Patricia Farley; Ward Mitchell and Rita Mitchell; Ralph Day; Clifford Toler; and Tommy Daniels.
All claim they used respirators manufactured and sold by 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.
The cases are known formally as Boone Circuit Court cases 14-C-133 and 14-C-134; Logan Circuit Court cases 14-C-179, 14-C-180 and 14-C-181, 14-C-182; Fayette Circuit Court case 14-C-186; McDowell Circuit Court cases 14-c-77 and 14-c-78; and Mingo Circuit Court case no. 14-c-136.