The Buffalo Creek Disaster: How the survivors of one of the worst disasters in coal-mining history brought suit against the coal company--and won

The Buffalo Creek Disaster How the survivors of one of the worst disasters in coal mining history brought suit against the coal company and won One Saturday morning in February an impoundment dam owned by the Pittston Coal Company burst sending a million gallon foot tidal wave of water sludge and debris crashing into southern

  • Title: The Buffalo Creek Disaster: How the survivors of one of the worst disasters in coal-mining history brought suit against the coal company--and won
  • Author: Gerald M. Stern
  • ISBN: 9780394723433
  • Page: 107
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • 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, than 1,000 were injured, and over 4,000 wereOne 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, than 1,000 were injured, and over 4,000 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 and took on the case and won.From the Trade Paperback edition.

    • ✓ The Buffalo Creek Disaster: How the survivors of one of the worst disasters in coal-mining history brought suit against the coal company--and won || Ì PDF Read by × Gerald M. Stern
      107 Gerald M. Stern
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      Posted by:Gerald M. Stern
      Published :2020-01-11T23:22:33+00:00

    About " Gerald M. Stern "

  • Gerald M. Stern

    Gerald M. Stern Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Buffalo Creek Disaster: How the survivors of one of the worst disasters in coal-mining history brought suit against the coal company--and won book, this is one of the most wanted Gerald M. Stern author readers around the world.

  • 925 Comments

  • This was the first book assigned for my Civil Procedure class this Fall. Not hard to understand why. As the lengthy subtitle indicates, this is classic white knight lawyer stuff. A hard-won battle by a lawyer (Stern) with a background fighting for Af-Am voting rights in the south in the early 60s to demonstrate the "reckless negligence" of the Pittston coal company in maintaining a dammed reservoir of coal mining waste, leading to a substantial remedy awarded to the sympathetic victims of a terr [...]


  • Like everyone else, I read this for my 1L civ pro class. As law goes, it's a fairly exciting and easy read. Hashtag no regrets.


  • Who knew. What a fascinating procedural that gives a shockingly powerful glimpse into the cost of blood for oil, fossil fuel sport.


  • This was a great book. If you are at all interested in environmental law, read this. It goes into the work it takes to put together a case in a very encouraging way.


  • Although this book will give you a summary of this ecological disaster, but it is less about the disaster itself and more about the litigation that would follow it. As such, it's a great book for those interested in the process of lawyering. As a book about ecology, it's not as engaging. What the book did do was remind me to a large extent why I dislike our court system so much.The book is written from the point of view of the litigater who would bring suit on behalf of about six hundred people [...]


  • The Buffalo Creek flood was one of the worst disasters in West Virginia’s long and tragic history of calamities, both natural and man-made. When a coal slurry impoundment dam owned by the Pittston Coal Company gave way under the pressure of heavy rains on February 26, 1972, a 30-foot-high wall of coal-black waste water devastated sixteen different towns throughout the Buffalo Creek hollow of Logan County, West Virginia. The flood killed 125 people, injured over 1,100 more and left more than 4, [...]


  • Given to me by a friend after one of his college courses, it’s a picture window into the procedure behind a lengthy civil suit brought against a coal company. This case helped establish legal grounds for suing for psychological as well as physical damages in the state of West Virginia and later went on to help define PTSD. This account of the lead lawyer from a Washington D.C. law firm retells all of the major pitfalls and victories of this at times harrowing case. There are some fairly grueso [...]


  • A true story about a lawsuit relating to a failed dam, written by the lead lawyer. The author does a good job of bringing out the personal stories of the victims as well as explaining legal procedure in a way that would be understandable to laymen. Story moves along and maintains interest, not dry legalese.


  • Nothing changes. Corporate greed. Political corruption. Reckless disregard for the miners and their families. Two Harvard educated lawyers battling it out--only one will win. Think Erin Brockovich. Read "How Green Was my Valley."


  • It was kind of interesting to read about a civil lawsuit that many people were wronged by. It was little drawn out in the details, though.


  • I felt a personal connection with this book because of both my love for the Appalachian Mountains, and the fact that I work in a very similar field (supporting attorneys who protect Americans from major environmental negligence). It is worth reading because it introduces a significant but little-known piece of history that is definitely worth understanding in today's political climate, where conservative politicians want to do away with government regulations that help prevent these kinds of ext [...]


  • The Buffalo Creek Disaster is, if nothing else, informative. It is certainly a good introduction to the process of American federal civil procedure. It is a pinpoint-specific history lesson on a tragic event. It is also a fairly compelling drama, and for nonfiction, it feels rather like a legal thriller, with the bold, young, heroic attorney taking on a big coal company to fight for the traumatized survivors of this horrific disaster, the Buffalo Creek Flood.That said, the narrative suggests mem [...]


  • Just read this for law school, which I started this month. I have said good-bye for the next four years to my local bookstore (my usual place to find the next book I'd like to read) and said hello to casebooks on civil procedure and contracts.The professor had us read this book, which is more narrative, as a way to ease us into civil procedure. Very kind of her. The story is interesting enough that I would have liked to have read it even if I weren't in law school. In W. Va. in the mid-1970's, h [...]


  • I read this for my Law, Policy, and Ethics class. It started out pretty dry and dense, but I actually genuinely enjoyed the second half. The Buffalo Creek disaster was a devastating tragedy, and the legal case was surprisingly interesting. Stern wrote the book in such a way that the reader really feels sympathy for the survivors and outrage toward the defendant. It's an excellent look into the proceedings of a major lawsuit.


  • Nice introduction to the procedures of a civil case on corporate irresponsibility, written by the lead counsel of the case. The book alternatively feels like a legal drama where both sides utilized legal strategies and procedural choices to battle it out, alongside anecdotes from survivors of the human aspects of suffering and gross negligence that led to the case.Makes one feel both in awe and in disgust about what legal dealings require of people, and stretching the ethics even for the lawyer [...]


  • I'm going to start reviewing books I read in law school that have some chance of being of general interest, since I suspect that my non-law reading will decline significantly. This was an engrossing story of a mining community destroyed (over 100 dead, the town wiped out) by mining company negligence, and a legal procedural about the suit against the company as told by the plaintiff's lawyer. It's apparently standard reading for first-year law students, as it introduces many of the basic concept [...]


  • Disclaimer: This book was required reading for my introductory civil procedure class in law school. This book is an account written by the attorney for the survivors of the Buffalo Creek dam break in West Virginia. In it, Gerald Stern describes how he came to be the attorney for the plaintiffs, some of the personal stories of the survivors, and of the legal action that went into challenging the Buffalo Creek Company and the Pittston Company for a settlement. Stern explained the legal procedures [...]


  • In February of 1972, Dam 3 in Pitchfork, West Virginia broke and demolished an entire community, taking hundreds of lives and thousands of dollars in property damage. Someone had to pay for not only the damages -- but as this landmark case proved -- the psychological fallout experienced by victims of the disaster. That someone was Pittson, and they were bullied in to paying up by Stern and his legal crew. Although the narration is desperately dry, the events and timeline are what propel this boo [...]


  • I enjoy the weird finds that turn into fascinating reads. The book seems to be geared towards a law student audience, in that it discusses much of the methodolgy used by the legal team suing on behalf of the Buffalo Creek flood victims. Fortunately, this isn't all legal jargon and dry text, and this ends up a suprisingly readable book.The chapters tend to blend the personal histories with the legal process, keeping a very human side to this telling. I think that's particularly important when wri [...]


  • I had to read this book for class so i almost didnt review this but then i figured what the heck it wont take me very long i might as well. Pros: the book does a pretty good job of helping laymen understand legal terms and proceedings (mostly lost on me since i already knew these things as a law student). Cons: the author is not a terribly good writer overall it reads like he thinks he's making it exciting and dramatic but in all reality its just a sad story with sooooo much lead up of boring le [...]


  • A very enlightening book revealing a chapter in coal mining history that still shames the mining industry. For those of us involved in the moder day technical design and regulatory permitting of structures associated with the coal mining industry this book is a reminder that there is no substitute for common sense and human empathy when contemplating the possible effects of our work upon the surrounding land and its inhabitants. The hubris and reckless disregard of the mining industry, in this p [...]


  • Very interesting to read this, especially as a junior associate at a firm. Stern writes that this case, representing residents of a valley that was absolutely decimated by a flood from coal mining, was the most important thing he would ever do. The writing was fine. It was pretty clearly written by a practiced litigator. The sections describing law and procedure were pretty clear and polished. The more human parts, describing what actually happened to the dam and what people actually experienced [...]


  • Guess I'm just too cynical to enjoy the lawyer-as-hero genre. Statements like "sometimes you do well by doing good" just contribute to my growing sense of cynicism. I'd stick to fiction - To Kill a Mockingbird, for example - for the inspiring lawyer genre. That said, the book is a good example of the process of preparing for a mass tort suit, interjecting a sense of the politics, personalities, and mundane reality into what's largely a tedious, often frustrating, and did I say tedious? process, [...]


  • I read this book for litigation drafting class in law school. It tells the tale of a small coal mining village being devastated by a flood caused by overflowing sludge from a waste dump of the mine. The powerful, political D.C. firm of Arnold and Porter took the case pro bono.While the book was unabashedly pro-plaintiff and anti-big corporation (a tired theme nowadays), it was a mildly interesting read that managed to keep me reading until the end. The book should appeal to both lawyers and nonl [...]


  • This book was part of an MBA course in business law, and I'm here commenting on because it was simply fantastic. I've read legal thrillers that were not as legitimately moving, suspenseful, and straightforward as this book. Roger Ebert once said that a film that ends with a big courtroom scene is rarely any good, and the same can be said here--no big courtroom scene, not even a trial, but the processes of discovery and negotiation and legal gamesmanship makes for a refreshing approach to legal [...]


  • I read this book for my civil procedure class. Wish that the author went into more details about his expert reports prior to going to trial, and then perhaps in the practical aspects of settling. He just kind of concludes at the end that he settled for $13 million rather than explaining what happens after(proper allocation, company admitting guilt?, distribution to various classes of plaintiffs, etc)But anyways this book served its purpose and is a decent primer to Civil Procedure in America. I' [...]


  • My first required reading for law school. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot too. I feel much better informed about the options survivors have after an environmental disaster and it gives a neat window into a lawyer's work. The book also left me with a big question about why survivors of Hurricanes Katrina in New Orleans haven't launched a suit against the Army Corps of Engineeers. I did a Google search and found out that a very small number of survivors actually have begun a lawsuit against [...]


  • I was required to read this book in my law school Civil Procedure class. I found myself reading the book for a second time a year later. This is a fascinating page-turner about how mega-companies can do horribly detrimental, and eventually practically homicidal, acts without question until a huge disaster hits. I found the book interesting not only because I was amazed at the layers of negligence and secrecy that were uncovered, but also because it caused me to think about all the industries in [...]


  • Tough luck town, tough luck profession and a real heart-breaking story. Chalk one up for families of the miners and for the “good” lawyers who represented them. Also gives an insight into coal-mining and how it is a way of life in certain parts of the country. Really is a must read for anyone considering going to law school with an interest in litigation. It is also a very enjoyable read for people simply interested in the way our justice system & tort litigation really works and not wha [...]


  • IF YOU'RE SACRIFICING AT LEAST YOUR TEARS AS ATTORNEY GERALD M. STERN RELIVES THIS HORRIFIC MULTI-BURIALS OF PEOPLE WHILE THEY RAN IN FEAR OF A COAL MINE'S NEGLIGENCE, THEN KICK START YOUR HUMANITYEY ARE OFTEN FORGOTTEN BECAUSE ALTHOUGH WE BURN THEIR MINED FUEL, WE NEGLECT THEIR SAFETY. AS THE SLAG PILES GROW HIGHER THE OWNERS DO NOTHING TO CART IT AWAY. WHEN IT RAINS PEOPLE ARE LITERALLY BURIED ALIVE. BUT THIS ATTORNEY MADE HIS STAND. I AM PROUD TO HAVE READ HIS STORY AND THE TRUTH HE EXPOSED. [...]


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