October 31, 2020

Volume X, Number 305


October 30, 2020

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

October 29, 2020

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

October 28, 2020

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

Coeur Alaska, WEST 2015-364-M, et al. (September 20, 2016) (ALJ Simonton)

Coeur Alaska was issued ten enforcement actions between July 17, 2014, and December 5, 2014 with a total assessed penalty of $199,047. A hearing was held on these ten enforcement actions, six of which were specially assessed because they were violations of a Rule to Live By. The ALJ upheld the special assessments on four of the violations finding that the penalty would not interfere with Coeur’s ability to continue operations. The ALJ vacated the special assessment on two of the violations.

For one of these two enforcement actions, the Secretary had proposed a special assessment of $3,000. The violation was issued for damaged and stressed wire mesh in the travelway of the underground gold mine. It was designated as non-S&S, unlikely to result in lost workdays or restricted duty, and high negligence. The ALJ found that because the enforcement action was non-S&S, and unlikely to cause serious injury, the special assessment was excessive and it was vacated.

The other enforcement action was also for a violation of a Rule to Live By and was issued for Coeur’s failure to maintain wire mesh at an intersection and upramp. It was issued as S&S with a reasonable likelihood of fatal injury, high negligence, and specially assessed at $60,000. The ALJ found that because the hazard was obscured from view and the miners in the area were protected by truck cabs it was reduced to moderate negligence. The ALJ vacated the special assessment after finding the penalty was excessive for a violation of moderate negligence.

© 2020 Dinsmore & Shohl LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume VI, Number 291



About this Author

Robert Huston Beatty Jr, Dinsmore Shohl Law Natural Resources Litigation, lawyer

Robert Huston Beatty, Jr. is a member of the Natural Resources Practice Group. Bob represents mine operators before federal and state administrative agencies, federal courts, and state courts. He also provides pre-enforcement consulting services, including comprehensive training for mine managers and safety professionals.


J.D., West Virginia University College of Law (1993)
B.A., West Virginia University (magna cum laude, honors scholar, 1990)

Bar Admissions

West Virginia

Jason M. Nutzman, Dinsmore Law, Labor Lawyer, Mine Safety Attorney

Jason Nutzman is a member of the Labor & Employment Department and Mine Safety & Health Practice Group. Jason represents clients before the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission in accident investigations, special investigations, and discrimination investigations conducted by the Department of Labor with respect to the
Mine Safety and Health Act.

In his practice, he works with human resource managers and in-house counsel providing employment advice and litigation support to employers. Jason also provides employment counseling to employers from the beginning...

(304) 357-9938
Max Corley, Labor, Employment Practice, attorney, Dinsmore Shohl, law firm

Max Corley is a Partner in the Labor Department and a member of the Employment Practice Group. His practice is focused on the defense of clients in federal and state coal mine safety and met/nonmetal safety regulatory matters before federal and state administrative agencies, federal court and state courts and civil defense litigation. Max regularly represents mine operators and contractors in the coal industry and in the metal/nonmetal sector of MSHA enforcement, including mine operators, quarry operators and producers of various metals, stone, sand, gravel and other...