The widow of an eastern Kentucky coal miner who died on the job last year has sued one of the nation's largest coal companies for more than $37 million in damages. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that an attorney for Susie Sturgill, widow of miner Roy D. Sturgill II, filed the lawsuit Friday in Letcher Circuit Court.
The suit names St. Louis-based Arch Coal Inc., and its subsidiary, Cumberland River Coal Co.
The lawsuit alleges that the company committed blatant safety violations that caused Sturgill's death. Sturgill died Jan. 8, 2008, after his truck backed over a dumping point and continued to go down the slope. Sturgill was employed by Bates Contracting in Whitesburg, a contractor that supplies workers to coal companies. He had only been a rock-truck driver for 12 days before the accident, and had only driven on the night shift four times, the lawsuit said.