Court Tosses Lawsuit in 1968 Farmington Mine Explosion

In this Nov. 21, 1968, file photo, smoke pours from the burning Llewellyn portal of the Mountaineer Coal Co., where 78 miners are trapped near Farmington, W.Va.

A federal appeals court has thrown out a lawsuit filed by the families of 78 men who were killed in a 1968 mine explosion in West Virginia.

The ruling Wednesday by the 4th U.S. Circuit Appeals affirms a 2017 ruling by a federal judge.

The men died after an explosion ripped through the Farmington No. 9 mine.

In a 2014 lawsuit, the families accused Consolidation Coal of fraudulently concealing key information that would have allowed them to file a wrongful-death lawsuit years earlier.

The 4th Circuit cited a West Virginia Supreme Court finding that the wrongful-death claim was barred by a two-year statute of limitations.

Attorney Timothy Bailey said the families are disappointed. He said “it’s a sad day” for the families and for “truth and justice.”