CHEYENNE, Wyo. (CN) – The Wyoming Supreme Court upheld a ruling in favor of the children of a coal miner who became a paraplegic after a boulder fell on him.
The mine and safety managers of the coal company claimed the district court erred in finding that they acted “intentionally” to harm the children of Les Butts.
He was injured because the catch basins that were supposed to protect him from falling objects were full of rubble.
Butts’ fellow employees had referred to his work area as the “Coffin Box” or the “Valley of Death” due to its potential dangers.
The court cited its 2003 opinion in Bertagnolli v. Louderbeck, which stated, “willful and wanton misconduct has essentially the same legal effect as the statutory language ‘intentionally act to cause physical harm or injury.'”
Coal company managers were found liable to the family for almost $9.5 million.