Can Animation Be Used In A Mining Accident Trial?

Mining extracts valuable materials from the earth. However, a mining accident can be a dreadful event and can cause damage to workers and the environment.

Mining is as old as man and has played a significant event in the evolution of the human race. Mineral resources are extracted from the deep parts of the earth through mining, and those minerals have been instrumental in building tools, machinery, and weapons in the past. One can safely conclude that mining activities have contributed to technology as raw materials extracted can be converted into various forms and shapes to create new technology. 

Despite the usefulness of this old-age act, it can also be a dangerous activity as it requires a lot of manual labor. However, the evolution of technology has helped to produce machinery and reduce the manual labor necessary for mining, but, regardless, mining accidents still happen. Several factors can lead to mining accidents, including but not limited to; explosive natural gases, mechanical errors or machine fails, collapsing of mine stopes, flooding.

Mining Accident
Photograph by Ricardo Gomez Angel (unsplash.com)

Mining is not an activity that was carried out only in the past; it is still done across the world and in the United States in the 21st-century. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reports that as of 2019, there are 24 mining fatalities in the U.S., which had about 30 reported mining fatalities for the year. Hence, mining accidents are not things that have occurred in the old days; they still happen in the 21st-century. 

Mining Accident In The United States In The 21st-Century

In 2001, Inside the Brookwood mine in Alabama, two gas explosions killed 13 workers. The first explosion occurred when a boulder landed on a battery charger, and the second happened due to the first explosion.

In 2006, Thirteen workers were trapped after an explosion at the Sago mine in West Virginia. Twelve people had died from carbon monoxide poisoning when rescuers arrived 36 hours later.

In 2007, Six miners and three rescue workers were killed at the Crandell Canyon mine in Utah when parts of the mines collapsed on them.

In 2010, 29 miners were killed in an explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in Naoma, West Virginia.

Some of these accidents can lead to court cases. 

Court Cases Involving Mining Accidents

Hritz v. Woma Corp.

A mine worker, William Hritz, was severely injured in a mining accident. A mine pumping machine’s pressure hose blew off its fitting and hit Hritz in the groin. He was left with severe penile lacerations, the loss of one testicle, decreased urinary and sexual function, severe emotional trauma, marital stress, despair, and social humiliation. The defendant, Woma Corporation, was the American distributor of the type of equipment that caused Hritz’s accident and was found to cause the damage. As a result, Hritz filed a claim for damages for the injuries he sustained due to the accident.

Wilmington Star Mining Co. v. Fulton

Samuel Fulton died due to a mine gas explosion while working as a trackman and mine laborer for the Wilmington Star Mining Company in Grundy County, Illinois. Minnie Fulton, his wife, brought this lawsuit against the mining company to seek damages for her husband’s death. The petition had eight counts, each of which set out a specific act of negligence alleged to have been the proximate cause of the accident and constituted a willful failure to perform specified statutory duties.

Other cases of mining accidents include General Electric Company v. Bush, Horn v. Mullins

Using animation during trials for cases involving personal injury has been on the rise. It’s no different because it’s a mining case. With animation, the plaintiff or defendant can present their opinion to the jury. Amongst other things, animation can be used to show the severity of an injury in a mine accident. It can be used to show mechanical or operational malfunctioning of pieces of machinery that caused the injury. It can be used to prove the negligence of either party involved in the court case. 

Hence, it’s not out of place to seek the expertise of an experienced trial animation company in your next mining accident case. 

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