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eBook 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 ePub

by Gerald M. Stern

eBook 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 ePub
Author: Gerald M. Stern
Language: English
ISBN: 0307388492
ISBN13: 978-0307388490
Publisher: Vintage (May 6, 2008)
Pages: 304
Category: Americas
Subcategory: History
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 234
Formats: azw lit mobi rtf
ePub file: 1661 kb
Fb2 file: 1167 kb

A classic book on this harrowing subject, the re-telling of the Buffalo Creek flood in 1972 is wrenching and heart-breaking, also an indictment of a coal company that could have, and should have, provided safeguards against the very thing that caused this disaster in the first place, . an unstable sediment dam that burst and wiped out over one hundred.

The Buffalo Creek Disaster book. The story of an atrocious disaster and the response of the devastated survivors. This one should be a valuable lesson to those who feel trade unions are not needed in this country, or just for readers who think lawyers are bad people.

Reprint of the ed. published by Random House, New York. Top. American Libraries Canadian Libraries Universal Library Community Texts Project Gutenberg Biodiversity Heritage Library Children's Library.

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Mostly the data of the books and covers were damaged so many books are not . Gerald M. Stern Instead of accepting the small settlements offered by the coal company's insurance offices, a few hundred of the survivors banded together to sue.

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 . Instead of accepting the small settlements offered by the coal company's insurance offices, a few hundred of the survivors banded together to sue.

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. 125 people were killed instantly, more than 1,000 were injured, and over 4,000 were suddenly homeless.

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. by Gerald M. The real practice of law requires vision and courage, which this book amply illustrates.

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 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.
Kiaile
I am from the Buffalo Creek area. My Grandmothers house was used for people who were wiped out. Our High School was used as a Morgue. This book is AMAZING and the story incredibly well told. There is a quote by an older Miner at the end that says it all for Coal Miners. Buy the book to read it. You feel like you are there, the frustration that the Coal Company Supervisor won't listen, the damn breaking, the water coming through the mountains behind you while you are trying to out run it. And the ones that could not out run it. This should be a movie. The book will keep you on edge. MAJOR KUDOS to the Author from someone who knew this story all too well but the way it is told here, is amazing.
Asyasya
Amazing text. It's on my law school jurisprudence list so I thought I'd give it a quick read. I had no expectations going in and I just might buy the hard copy to put in my library. That good. An amazing story of an attorney who didn't give up on his clients and sought out the best possible resolution for them.

Absolutely riveting story and very well written. You do NOT have to be an attorney to appreciate the story line as he explains each step of the legal process. He gives you insight to a law firm and humanizes the job of an attorney, which I think some people so easily forget. We're not all corporate greedy blowhards and I appreciate his ability to portray what a true attorney feels and how getting "emotionally involved" in a case is not always the worst thing you can do.

And you will learn what survivor's guilt is and you begin to think you have it yourself when you read through some of the personal stories which are incredibly emotional and moving.
Thundershaper
This still is one of the best books to recommend to a young person who is interested in going to law school. The writing is downright poetic in parts. It reads very briskly and is hard to put down. I have bought a few copies over the years as gifts for young scholars-to-be, but the book still is readable for those of us who are longer in the tooth. Plaintiff's lawyers get a lot of abuse, but they are partly responsible for the increase in life expectancy in the U.S. Because of people like Gerald Stern, it is much harder for major corporations to indiscriminately disregard hazards to human life.
Brightfury
Like many others, I had to read this for a first year law course. I enjoyed it at first, but as I read on the author seemed increasingly self-aggrandizing. It also became clear this is story is hardly a triumph of justice. I guess I was hoping for a feel-good, Erin Brockovitch-type story, but really it’s just a lesson in how lawyers make the big bucks while driving their clients through a grueling litigation process that ultimately yielded them barely more money than they would have gotten from the company’s original offer. I don’t recomend this book; the author has already made plenty of money from other people’s suffering.
Questanthr
The book has two main aspects -- telling the survivors' story, which it does in beautiful, painful detail through their own words -- and telling how Stern fought a major corporation that flagrantly flouted the law in a state bought and paid for by that industry and won. Its does both well, without making either element feel shortchanged.

Buffalo Creek took place a few years before PTSD was coined as a description, but as Stern outlines the effects the disaster had on the survivors, it's clear that PTSD was the major effect of the disaster. It also was the biggest part of the legal battle, as Stern and his team fought to get the court and the mining company to recognize the mental suffering of the survivors. Stern compares it a few times to the effects on the survivors of the concentration camps during the Holocaust. Reading the survivors tell about that day, scene by scene, frame by frame, is painful. The imagery is vivid, and knowing they relive it every time they hear rain or try to go to sleep or do any number of other things most of us take for granted is mind-boggling.

The first time Stern shows a survivor telling his story, it is a man whose young son was swept from his arms during the flood as they were carried away from the rest of their family. Stern tells how at the time he was hearing this, his son was about the same age, and he tried to imagine what it would be like seeing that happen with his own child. That's a tricky needle to thread in telling a story -- to relate something to your own life in a way that makes a connection without supplanting the original person's story. Stern does it with grace, and if I hadn't already been hooked by the facts of the case, that section would have compelled me to finish the story.

The book is first-person, so it is impossible to separate story from storyteller. Stern comes across as somebody trying to do the right thing in the face of impossible odds. He fully admits that the legal team caught some breaks they could not have expected on, twists that make the story more compelling. Perhaps the moment that seemed most real to me -- beyond the line that first hooked me in the introduction -- was when the case is moving quickly toward trial. Stern is working on the trial brief, which he describes almost as writing a script for the trial. The legal teams on both sides also are discussing a settlement. Stern has a moment where he wishes the case could go to trial. Part of that is to tell the survivors' story, to make it impossible for another company to do what Pittston did in Buffalo Creek. But Stern also admits to wanting to be the Clarence Darrow of the story, to have a chance at the recognition that would come from trying the case. He's embarrassed by it, and knows even as he's writing that it's ego talking -- but we tend to do that in those situations. I know a lot of investigative journalists through IRE and NICAR. We're all driven by the story, the chance to uncover wrongdoing and shine a spotlight on problems. That doesn't mean we don't also occasionally think "Pulitzer. IRE Award. Etc." when working on a hot story. That moment, more than any other in the story, humanized Stern, at least for me.

The other part of the story that worked is how Stern details legal issues and wrangling over jurisdiction and other obscure topics in such as way as to be both understandable and engrossing. Courts coverage can be full of jargon, not to mention filled with so many details as to bore anybody. (If I never see the phrase "Alford plea" in a story in the editing queue again, it will be too soon.) Stern avoids both pitfalls, keeping the complexity of the legal issues surrounding the story engaging and understandable. You don't have to have covered courts or be a legal scholar to understand the legal questions at issue in this story, and that is a huge success of the book, especially since it's written by a lawyer.

Stern had the materials for a powerful story just in the facts of the case, but his voice throughout the book is what pulls it together. He is both conversational and educational, while knowing how to structure the telling of the tale to pull the reader along to the ending.
Jerdodov
Jerry Stern's account of the litigation over the Buffalo Creek dam disaster ought to be read by every wannabe trial lawyer so that he or she will understand the tremendous creativity real lawyering, particularly lawyering down in the pits, requires.
The real practice of law requires vision and courage, which this book amply illustrates. Stern and his team from Arnold and Porter took on the near impossible case, armed only with the real tools of our trade, the words and ideas that form the arguments that shape the law.
And yet this is not just the story of courageous plaintiffs' lawyers, it is about the truly great defense lawyers on the other side, in particular Zane Grey Staker, whose tenacity and command of the language and of his case, gave the A & P lawyers a great and fair fight, and of the United States District Judge, whose role was not only to provide each side with "the cold neutrality of an impartial judge" but who understood that proper case management plays a critical role in achieving substantial justice.
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