Here’s a statement just issued by Massey Energy:
In the wake of this tragedy, the Company is meeting with families and describing benefits that it will provide to them. These benefits are designed to ensure that no family will have to worry about missing a paycheck, paying a medical bill or sending a child to college.
At least one internet media source has inaccurately suggested that these benefits are being provided to settle lawsuits. This is absolutely untrue. These benefits are being provided by the Company without any obligation by the families to agree to any settlement.
The Company is aware that personal injury lawyers have published advertisements seeking cases and that some personal injury lawyers have made efforts to contact some of the families during this difficult time.
Massey Energy believes that there will be an appropriate time to discuss settlement options with the families. If any proposals are made to the families, those families will be given a full opportunity to review those proposals with a lawyer of their choosing. To the extent settlements are reached, it is the Company’s desire that the families — and not personal injury attorneys – receive the money. Unfortunately, personal injury attorneys frequently take 30-40% of any settlement received by a family. The Company hopes such a result can be avoided in this circumstance.