Renowned attorney Steve Ruby takes a personal and professional look back at the tragic Upper Big Branch mine disaster and its aftermath.
Following the deadly Upper Big Branch mine disaster in Raleigh County, West Virginia, which now occurred just over ten years ago, an investigation was spearheaded that led to the largest-ever recovery in a criminal mine safety case. Later featured on 60 Minutes on CBS, spearheading said investigation was attorney Steve Ruby.
“In the wake of the explosion at Upper Big Branch that tragically killed 29 miners, I spearheaded an investigation that would lead to a $209 million resolution and five criminal convictions,” says Steve Ruby, taking a personal and professional look back at the tragedy.
Attorney Steve Ruby is a former U.S. Attorney’s Office chief who, as a prosecutor, has amassed an extensive record of convictions, a number of which have received national and even international recognition.
Following the deadly Raleigh County mine explosion, Steve Ruby reached a resolution with the then-operator’s successor company. “At more than $200 million, the resolution represented the largest-ever recovery of its kind,” explains Ruby. Culminating in a nine-week jury trial, the case also saw the first-ever conviction of a major company’s CEO, he goes on to reveal, for a workplace safety crime.
Steve Ruby is the name behind a leading criminal defense, complex litigation, and advocacy practice. Recent representations include clients facing charges or investigations of bank fraud, healthcare fraud, wire fraud, and government funds misuse. The attorney has also recently led a successful investigation into, and the subsequent prosecution of, an individual who made serious threats against several prominent American business leaders, including the owner of a famous professional American football team.
During his tenure as a prosecutor, attorney Steve Ruby has further secured notable convictions of eight elected officials, including a state court magistrate judge who railroaded a defendant in an effort to protect a political ally, plus three further well-known individuals—each county officials—in a sophisticated election fraud scheme.
Earlier this year, Steve Ruby marked the tenth anniversary of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster which occurred on April 5, 2010. “Following a coal dust explosion at 3:27 pm on that fateful day ten years ago, twenty-nine out of thirty-one miners were killed at the site,” said Ruby at the time, speaking from his office in Charleston, West Virginia, approximately 30 miles from where the tragedy happened, close to the community of Montcoal.
Today, a 48-foot monument etched with life-size silhouettes of the miners who tragically lost their lives in the disaster can be found in nearby Whitesville, around 10 minutes north of the small West Virginia community, currently home to little more than 1,000 individuals. Dedicated in July 2012, the Upper Big Branch Miners Memorial also poignantly features a tribute to others who have lost their lives or subsequently endured ill health stemming from their work in the wider coal industry, according to Steve Ruby.