Families of Kentucky Coal Miners Killed in Collapse Sue Operator

Families of Kentucky Coal Miners Killed in Collapse Sue OperatorThe families of two western Kentucky coal miners who died last year in a roof collapse are filing a lawsuit against the mine's operator.

Michael Carter, 28, and Justin Travis, 27, were in the Dotiki mine clearing loose rocks when there was a collapse that killed both men, according to The Associated Press. The lawsuit, filed by Melissa Carter and Sandy Travis, the wives of the two miners, claims that Oklahoma-based Alliance Resource Partners emphasized production at the expense of safety.

The news source reports that the lawsuit was filed with the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and seeks $9 million for each woman.

According to the news provider, the mine had been cited by both state and federal safety officials more than 1,000 times between January 2009 and April 2010, when the incident occurred.

Still, the mine operator's general counsel, Eberley Davis, said that investigations conducted by the company and state and federal officials concluded that the subsidiary running the mine could not have been aware of the geological anomaly that led to the collapse of the mine.

The Dotiki mine produced almost 4.6 million tons of coal in 2007.