Associated Press Published

UBB Victims' Families Want Gag Order Lifted in Blankenship Case


Families of the 29 West Virginia coal miners killed in a 2010 explosion are asking a federal judge to lift a gag order in the criminal case against the mining company’s former chief executive.

The Charleston Gazette reports that lawyers for the estates of 14 of the victims filed the motion Thursday. The families want the gag order lifted so they can testify freely to West Virginia lawmakers about bills that would narrow the rights of workers to sue employers over workplace injuries and deaths.

U.S. District Judge Irene Berger in Beckley imposed the gag order the day after former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was indicted on mine safety and security charges. Earlier this month, Berger denied a motion by five news organizations to remove the gag order.