Ohio family sues contractor over W.Va. mine deaths

VICKI SMITH Associated Press Published:

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- The father of a 25-year-old coal miner killed in the Upper Big Branch disaster is suing an Ohio-based company that was under contract to do safety examinations for Massey Energy.

Scott Napper of Langsville, Ohio, sued independent contractor David Stanley Consultants of St. Clairsville, Ohio, in Raleigh County Circuit Court on Thursday -- the second anniversary of the blast that killed 29 men.

Napper's son Josh was among those killed, along with Josh's uncle and cousin.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration cited David Stanley last fall for two contributory violations.

The lawsuit says Josh Napper was working for David Stanley, and it's as much to blame for allowing the conditions that led to the explosion as the mine's owner.

David Stanley didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.