When a fatal accident happens at work, relatives left behind should be eligible for benefits through workers' compensation offered by employers. However, two wives were recently awarded by a financial settlement from a lawsuit related to a fire in a West Virginia mine. Workers' compensation would typically be granted for a fatal accident at work; however, the particular circumstances of this accident make this case unique.
The fire took place in 2006, stemming a lawsuit filed against the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) on behalf of the two widows. After a legal battle, the MSHA agreed to pay the families one million dollars and to offer a course to prevent similar future fires. This lawsuit was based on the claim that the MSHA did not properly regulate the particular mine, resulting in unsafe conditions and the fatal fire.