How the Survivors of One of the Worst disasters in Coal-Mining History Brought Suit Against the Coal Company - And Won
by Gerald Stern
One Saturday morning in February 1972, an impoundment dam owned by the Pittston Coal Company burst, sending a 130 million gallon, 25-foot tidal wave of water, sludge, and debris crashing into southern West Virginia's Buffalo Creek hollow. It was one of the deadliest floods in U.S. history: 125 people were killed instantly, more than 1000 were injured, and over 4000 were suddenly homeless. Instead of accepting the small settlements offered by the coal company's insurance offices, a few hundred of the survivors banded together to sue. This is the story of their triumph over incredible odds and corporate irresponsibility, as told by Gerald M. Stern, who as a young lawyer took on the case and won.
"A straightforward, suspenseful, and completely absorbing tale that will leave you cheering at the end."
-San Francisco Chronicle
"Jerry Stern's classic work provides readers with tremendous insight into the causes of the disaster. . . . It is powerful, troubling, and uplifting."
-From the foreword by President Bill Clinton
"A shocking, timely book."
-The New York Times Book Review
"A fascinating tale of how investigative lawyers work, intermingled with sympathetic portraits of the survivors of the disaster."
"Fascinating reading. . . . An inside look at a history-making case."
-The Boston Globe