7News Anchor Laurie Conway sat down for an interview with Jim Bordas, from Bordas and Bordas concerning coal mining legislation.
Laurie: Right now the West Virginia legislature is debating a bill that would reduce the responsibility of companies to their employees, including coal companies. Do you feel the legislature is headed in the wrong direction?
Jim: Importantly, at the very time that the safety rules are being violated by coal companies to the detriment of miners and their families, the West Virginia legislature is considering reducing the responsibilities of coal operators to their employees. We, as West Virginians, should be demanding that our legislatures go the other direction and increase a miner’s safety and the rights to recovery when coal companies do not obey the law.
Me and the other 17 lawyers at my law firm have been fighting for justice for coal miners since the inception of this law firm as far back as the case I did on behalf of the women whose privacy was invaded in the 60 Minutes lawsuit up to current cases that we are handling for coal miners. Certainly you would think that after the horrible mining disaster at Upper Big Branch in Raleigh County where 29 people were killed, the Sago Mine disaster in 2006 where 12 people were killed in Upshur County, and the death of Roger King, another Moundsville coal miner who died in 2013, I think that we have had enough. Tragically for the West Virginia coal miners, West Virginia has year in and year out led the nation in coal mining deaths, and that trend seems to be continuing.
Laurie: How do you think we could reduce coal mining deaths in West Virginia?
Jim: The long and short of all this is that this is another tragedy that could and should have been prevented. It seems that the only thing that will get the coal operator’s attention are lawsuits with appropriate jury verdicts. Apparently there has still not been enough to force these coal companies to obey the law. Something has got to change.