United States of America v. KenAmerican Resources
CHARGE(S): 28 count federal indictment charged Muhlenberg County, Kentucky coal company and employees of a four year conspiracy to violate federal mine safety laws to increase profit for the company.
POTENTIAL PUNISHMENT: KenAmerican faced up to $11 million in fines
VENUE: U.S. District Court, Owensboro, Kentucky
ALLEGATION: Coal company routinely and blatantly disregarded federal mine safety laws aimed at controlling levels of coal dust that causes black lung, a disabling disease that kills hundreds of miners each year. The coal company put production and profit ahead of the miners health and safety.
DISPOSITION: Trial by jury
RESULT: KenAmerican was found not guilty of 16 of 18 felony counts (the individual employees were charged with the other 10 felony counts). As a result of the verdict, KenAmerican faced up to $2.8 million in fines instead of $11 million. KenAmerican ultimately paid a fraction of the $2.8 million to resolve the case.
Judge dismisses 4 counts against Muhlenberg mine (The Courier-Journal)
Federal judge dismisses mine safety convictions (Harlan Daily Enterprise)
Mine company convicted of violating safety rules (The Courier-Journal)