Please join us, along with many of the original attorneys and experts, for the Buffalo Creek Symposium to be held at the West Virginia University College of Law, February, 25-26, 2014.
When the Pittston Coal Company dam burst at Buffalo Creek in Logan County, WV, on February 26, 1972, 130 million gallons of water, coal sludge and waste materials were released, resulting in a 20–30 foot wall of water that flooded the towns of Buffalo Valley.
Unlike accidents that occur at a mine site, this disaster struck miners, townspeople, and families in their homes early on a Saturday morning. There was no warning. 125 people were killed, 4,000 were left homeless, over 1,000 were injured, and nearly 1500 houses and mobile homes were destroyed or damaged. Property damage was estimated at $50 million.
Although more than 40 years have passed since the devastating flood at Buffalo Creek occurred, this event is still recognized as one of the worst disasters in U.S. coal mining history. This symposium will explore the legal precedents and environmental legacies from the perspective of the three major cases to arise from the disaster: Dennis Prince v. The Pittston Coal Company, Justice v. The Pittston Coal Company, andThe State of West Virginia v. The Pittston Coal Company.