At the Stillwater Mine in Nye, Montana, a machinery accident resulted in a worker’s death on November 13, 2023. The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has temporarily halted work at the mine to conduct a full investigation.
According to a statement from Sibanye-Stillwater, the company that owns the palladium and platinum mine, a worker was preparing an area for mining by bolting wire panels to the rock walls, which helps prevent falling rock accidents. During this task, a fatal machinery accident reportedly took place. The exact details of the accident, including what type of machinery was involved, have not been divulged to the public yet, possibly due to the MSHA’s investigation that has not been completed yet.
The machinery accident at the mine in Nye is the most recent in a series of fatal accidents in mines owned or operated by Sibanye-Stillwater. In June 2021 at the same Stillwater Mine, two workers were killed when their work vehicle collided with an underground locomotive. In 2018, a South African gold mine owned by Sibanye-Stillwater saw 24 worker deaths that year in various accidents and oversights.
Can Mine Workers & Their Families Get Compensation?
Depending on the employment status of the fatally injured worker, the worker’s Estate may have a third party wrongful death claim against Stillwater Mine. If the worker was an employee of the Stillwater Mine, workers’ compensation death benefits would be available as the exclusive remedy. However, if the worker was an independent contractor and/or an employee of a company other than Stillwater Mine, as many mine workers are, then the worker’s Estate has a potential wrongful death claim against Stillwater Mine.In that situation, the worker’s Estate would need to prove negligence and liability on behalf of the Stillwater Mine and any third parties involved in the accident.
For more information about this unfolding situation, you can click here to view a full article from AP News. You should also visit our blog often for important updates about this story. If you have an injury claim or wrongful death claim resulting from a workplace or mine accident in Montana, contact the mine accident attorneys of Hoyt & Blewett PLLC so we can see how we can help.
Call (406) 233-1302 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our firm.