Vol 21, No 4

  • Accidents:
    • Employee’s arm crushed in conveyor pulley at N.J. quarry (112)
    • Foreman seriously hurt in rib fall at James River Coal’s #68 mine (113)
    • Man survives 25-foot fall at Kentucky prep plant (113)
    • Nonfatal material hopper accident recalls September fatality (114)
    • Methane causes evacuation of trona mine (114)
    • Radiation released at underground waste storage site (115)
    • Spill at West Virginia prep plant listed as environmental, not job safety issue (116)
  • Black Lung: Labor Dept. aims to bolster process for black lung benefit claims (117)
  • Civil Penalties: Labor Dept. and Viper Coal settle over $400,000 in delinquent penalties (118)
  • Criminal Proceedings: UBB’s Gary May to remain in prison; unable to prove ineffectual counsel (118)
  • Discrimination:
    • MSHA refuses to take case where miner threatened for making complaints (119)
    • MSHA investigates safety director’s complaint against gold company (120)
  • Fatalities:
    • Continuous-miner accident is fourth similar death in 19 months (120)
    • Contractor employee falls to death in Kosmos Cement plant elevator shaft (121)
    • Bad brakes on unstable truck blamed in death at Pennsylvania quarry (122)
    • MSHA suggests product design an issue in death of mechanic (124)
  • Freedom of Information Act: ‘Open Government’ meeting opened to public (126)
  • Investigations: Illinois suspended, under investigation (127)
  • Jurisdiction: MSHA has jurisdiction of barge facility where coal is mixed, stored and loaded (127)
  • On the Move: Doug Parker appointed as MSHA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy (128)
  • Review Commission Orders and ALJ Decisions (129)

UBB’s Gary May Loses Appeal

Gary May will be staying in prison after U.S. District Court Judge Irene Berger disagreed with May’s motion that he had ineffective counsel when he was represented by attorney Tim Carrico who was being paid by Massey Energy and then Alpha Natural Resources the company that bought Massey after the disaster.
May was sentenced on January 17, 2013 for giving advanced warning of MSHA inspectors going into the Upper Big Branch Mine where 29 miners were killed in an April 2010 mine explosion. May received 21 months imprisonment for offering advance notice and was also found guilty of a conspiracy charge.
In September, May had asked the court for an immediate release from prison, and cited, in part, an email exchange between his attorney and Alpha’s corporate counsel, Phil Monroe.
Monroe attorney tells Carrico that Tammy Harvey, an attorney who represented former Massey-head Don Blankenship, and who is married to Massey’s former general counsel Shane Harvey, would work “behind the scenes” to “prepare most of the pleadings since they need to be consistent….”
May said in his September pleadings that “The appearance of impropriety further taints the public’s perception of justice and fair play and makes one question just whose interests the Carrico/Monroe/Harvey/Harvey defense team were actually defending.”
Judge Barger said she had to look at three key questions: did May have an opportunity to read the Pres-sentencing Report; did May and his attorney discuss the report; and did May wish to challenge any facts in the report.
“Here, a review of the record by the Magistrate Judge indicated that the sentencing judge indeed asked all three questions, and that [May] answered the first two in the affirmative, and the last in the negative…. Thus, this Court finds no support for the contention that [May] was the victim of a concerted effort by the Government and his own attorney to deprive him of constitutionally protected due process rights, or that [May] did not have an opportunity to address any perceived mischaracterizations contained in the PSR before the sentencing court.”
A complete story will be in the next issue of Mine Safety and Health News (Vol. 21, No. 4).

Vol21, No3

  • Accidents:
    • Rescuers forced to conduct field amputation on foreman’s arm (80)
    • Overstretched chain snaps, causes injuries (81)
    • None hurt in slope hoist runaway at Emerald Mine (81)
    • Underground fire idles WIPP radioactive waste storage facility (82)
    • Quarry fire near explosives prompts local evacuation (82)
  • Criminal Proceedings:
    • Coal employment firm sentenced to three years probation for ‘structuring’ (83)
    • Coal company owner found innocent in purchase order scheme (84)
  • Depositions: Operator may proceed with second deposition of MSHA inspector (85)
  • Discrimination: 4th Circuit lacks jurisdiction in temporary reinstatement case (85)
  • Emergency Preparedness: MSHA releases contract report offering readiness assessment models (86)
  • Equipment Safety: Stakeholders’ meeting outlines ladder safety (88)
  • Fatalities:
    • Conveyor entanglement kills father of four (89)
    • No contributory violations in death of underground miner hit by coal hauler (90)
    • Neglected truck brakes led to death of mechanic at California quarry (91)
  • Inspections:
    • Veris Gold drops challenge where safety director impeded inspection (94)
    • ‘Operators just don’t get it,’ says Main over latest findings in impact inspections (94)
  • Investigations: OIG announces MSHA audits for FY 2014 (97)
  • Legislation: Arizona state legislators try for second time to limit MSHA powers (97)
  • Mine Emergencies: MSHA releases contract report offering readiness assessment models (98)
  • Mine Refuges: Emergency readiness highlighted at stakeholders’ meeting (100)
  • Pattern of Violations: Brody Mining loses POV motion before Chief ALJ (101)
  • Private Suits: Court sends miner’s case back to lower court after noting altered evidence (104)
  • Review Commission: 4th Circuit denies appeal where company failed to timely file for review (105)
  • Review Commission Orders and ALJ Decisions (106)