Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, August 17, 2007

Lawsuit Over Coal Mining Fatalities

In January 2006, twelve coal miners were killed by a methane explosion in West Virginia. Seventeen days later, two more miners died in a conveyor belt fire at another West Virginia coal mine.

And now a lawsuit has been filed. Well, a lawsuit can be a necessary evil. Mining executives have a tremendous amount of political clout compared to their employees. Sometimes a court of law is the only place where these David and Goliath situations can be resolved fairly.

Hopefully when the court — wait, what the…oh. [sigh]... It seems the owner of these two coal mines is the one filing the lawsuit. He's suing the West Virginia Democratic Party and party chairman Nick Casey because they ran a TV ad that “defamed” his pristine character. WTF??? Talk about Goliath hitting David with a slingshot.

Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey Energy Co., spent $3.6 million targeting Democratic candidates in 2006. The Democratic Party ran an ad titled “Not For Sale” and this ad supposedly portrayed Blankenship as being not terribly broken up over the deaths that occurred in his mines.

And now the poor offended mining CEO is suing for compensatory damages, punitive damages and a public apology.

Republicans are always saying we have too many lawsuits; too much litigation. Undoubtedly they're just furious about this frivolous lawsuit taking up the court’s valuable time. Right???

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Blogger FunkyTown Fighter said...

Just MORE of their hypocrisy coming out. As if we needed MORE proof!
I have come to realize these Bastards have nothing better to do with their time than get on the country's nerves! As for a public apology? FUCK THAT!! He can have one when the Country gets one for ALL the BULLSHIT we have had to endure the last 7 YEARS!!! Damn near 4,000 Troops killed in Iraq, all the people that died on 9-11, all the civilians dead in Afghanistan and Iraq and this silly little Bitch wants to cry about his "image" and his "feelings"??
FUCK THAT, give the Bastard SHIT in his face the way Shrub does the
Country. If it's "good enough" for us than it should be GREAT for him! There is no doubt those Repug Bastards only work for themselve's!!!!

August 17, 2007 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Funkytown Fighter: Yup, this guy is a real bastard. He practically owns the state of West Virginia and all the people in it, and his biggest worry is that he was defamed by a political ad. Somebody should give him something to cry about.

August 17, 2007 at 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a regulatory standpoint, miners are second-class or third-class workers in this country--treated with little more compassion and deference than slavemasters gave to people in bondage. It stinks!

August 17, 2007 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Kvatch: Yeah, those miners are in a terrible position. I think their pay is good, but that work is dangerous and I don't think they have much bargaining power over safety issues.

August 17, 2007 at 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish this surprised me. It doesn't. It's always been true that he who already has a lot is going to want more, at whoever's expense. What about the workers? Who cares! They don't buy ad time, hire lawyers to clean up their images, or reach a big audience by crying "crocodile" tears because they're being picked on -- so who cares????

August 17, 2007 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Anonymous: Yup, that's about it. If you can't hire lawyers or buy ad time, you don't count. Sad but true.

August 17, 2007 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger ParisL0ve2 said...

Hmmm, kind of sounds like Bob Murray from the whole Utah mine debacle. He filed a lawsuit a few years back claiming that he was defamed...blah...blah...blah!! He was suing for $100 million.

I wonder when the lawsuits are going to start rolling in over this latest mining "accident". Bob Murray most definitely defamed several people in the last 11 days. Let us also not forget his repeated insistance that this was an EARTHQUAKE that caused this despite every expert saying it wasn't. He insists that he's going to prove that this was a "natural event" that caused this. That's going to be rather difficult considering that the mine is basically imploding!!

When will these thugs stop thinking about money and power, and start thinking about the people? Oh wait, that would mean that they would need a soul. Clearly none of them have one!! My bad!!

August 17, 2007 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

ParisLOve2: Yeah, some of these mine owners don't give a flying F### about anything except expanding their own business empire. And the government is totally lax with them. Several years a mine owner in Kentucky was prosecuted because of too many accidents in his mines. His punishment was that he couldn't purchase any more coal mines for six months. OOOOH, they really socked it to him.

August 17, 2007 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

This guy sounds like Murray who is the owner of the mine disaster in Utah.

Murray also gives heavily to the Republican party, and lets his mines fall apart, while the government ignores the many violations.

August 17, 2007 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Larry: Yup, that's the Republican version of "Law and Order." Smoke marijuana, get 20 years. Own a coal mine where workers get killed from dangerous working conditions, get a slap on the wrist.

August 17, 2007 at 7:32 PM  
Blogger ParisL0ve2 said...

It's more like, smoke marijuana and get 20 years. Own a coal mine where workers are killed due to dangerous working conditions, and get appointed assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health by King Bush!!

If someone doesn't know what I'm talking about, check out the history of Richard Stickler.

August 18, 2007 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger Candace said...

The thing is, he'll probably win [$$ wink wink $$] the lawsuit (which will no doubt be overturned later on appeal, with zero media coverage.)

I hate these bastards.

August 18, 2007 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

ParisLOve2: Yeah, that's exactly how it works. Most industries are "regulated" by former CEOs and owners from that same industry. They're pretending to protect the public and enforce safety regulations, but they're quietly saying "psssst! This is how I got around it. These are some of the tricks I learned."

Candace: I don't know if he'll win or not; but I think they just file these lawsuits because they're intimidating. Nobody wants to be hauled into court by somebody who has more money than God.

August 18, 2007 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger LET'S TALK said...

I don't know what to make of Don Blankenship. He seems more concerned about what he's said and his reputation than the problems with the mine and the folks stuck in it.
I'm waiting to see how he's going to react when the families of the miners start to sue him and the mining company.

August 18, 2007 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Let's Talk: If Blankenship was sued by the survivors of miners killed in his mines, the rightwing spin machine would go on and on about the evils of litigation. The Far Right thinks lawsuits are only to be used by corporations and VIPs to strengthen the lopsided wealth and power they already have. When an injured victim tries to seek justice in the courts, it's a "frivolous lawsuit" or "judges legislating from the bench."

August 19, 2007 at 1:11 AM  
Blogger LET'S TALK said...

Very true statement tom. I say there's a time and a breeze in the air, where average Americans are looking at the, (It's all about me), Republican party and not listening to what they cry about any longer.
The other 30% that follow them blindly can stay without, why their elected officials fill their bellies with wealth. But not the rest of us, not anymore.

August 19, 2007 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Let's Talk: I think you're right about this, that more people are seeing through the Republicans' empty slogans and soundbites and are not listening to them any more. Hell with the 30-percenters; if they want to keep blindly following rightwing demagogues, that's their problem.

August 19, 2007 at 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Folks he's in the Catbird seat!

The Conservative Supreme Court has rules a corporation can be libeled like a person.

The Republicans have made sure no matter what abuse he does to his workers or environment the punishment will be less then a Overdue Library Book.


August 19, 2007 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: Yup, corporate criminals are treated about as harshly as someone with an overdue library book. And that's only if the book was checked out recently.

August 20, 2007 at 1:37 AM  

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