Families hoping for justice in suit over 1968 mine disaster - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Families hoping for justice in suit over 1968 mine disaster

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By DENISE LAVOIE
AP Legal Affairs Writer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments in a lawsuit filed by the families of 78 men who died in a West Virginia mine disaster in 1968.

The families are asking the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate their 2014 lawsuit. The court will hear the case Wednesday.

A federal judge ruled last year that the lawsuit was filed too late. But the families argue that the case should be allowed to move forward because they claim the mining company concealed the cause of the explosion for decades.

The mining company is asking the court to uphold the judge's ruling dismissing the lawsuit.

As a result of the disaster, Congress passed the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, which increased federal mine inspections and toughened safety standards.

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