Coal Mine Settles With Many Former Employees

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Seventy-five former coal miners at Deer Run Mine in Hillsboro will get pro-rated back pay and benefit pay, according to a settlement filed in federal court on Monday, Sept. 26.

Former miners Nick Carver, Wade Jacobs, Dale Basil, Mike Lebeter and Eric Wallace had filed a class action suit in federal court on Jan. 21 claiming that Foresight Energy violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) act that requires employers with 100 or more employees to provide 60 days advance notice of closures and mass layoffs.

During the suit, the mine had argued that since the closure was due to a smoldering coal fire, "act of God" language in the WARN act for natural disasters exempted them from the 60-day notice.

According to the settlement agreement provided by attorney Brandon M. Wise of Peiffer Rosca Wolf Abdullah Carr & Kane of St. Louis, counsel for the plaintiffs, Patton Mining will fund a total settlement fund of $550,000.

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