WV: Mining Employee Says He Was Fired in Retaliation

18 Jul, 2019 Liz Carey


Huntington, WV (WorkersCompensation.com) – A former miner in West Virginia has filed suit against a troubled mining company alleging he was fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

According to court records, Paul Lawrence Scott filed suit against Black Hawk Mining, LLC and Lue Creek Mining, LLC and others identified as John Does 1 through 10 in US District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. In the suit, he alleges that he was fired in retaliation for his workers’ compensation claims, as well as for discrimination and disability discrimination.

The suit alleges that in 2017 Scott was employed by the mines when he pointed out to mining officials that he had health concerns over the excessive dust in the mine. When he brought the issue to the attention of the mine operators, no action was taken, he said.

Later, in January 2018, Scott says he was hurt when he was struck by a shuttle car. As a result, he filed a workers’ compensation claim over the incident. Three days later, Scott said, he was attacked by another employee who injured him. Scott said he was suspended and terminated following the attack. According to his suit, he was paid unemployment benefits, but his workers’ compensation claim was denied.

Scott claims in his suit that his firing and the denial of his claim were in retaliation for his reporting on the unsafe work environment.

Blackhawk Mining is one of two mining operations that have or will be filing bankruptcy proceedings this week. The Lexington, KY company is set to file for bankruptcy on July 19, while Blackjewel, LLC filed bankruptcy earlier this month. Blackjewel’s filing left thousands of Kentucky coal miners in debt with no indication of when they would return to work, after the company’s last paychecks to the miners bounced. According to its filing, the mining company would have enough money to continue operation and paying its employees but the bankruptcy filing would allow it to restructure its debt and obtain $50 million in financing to continue operation.


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    About The Author

    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

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