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Families of Crandall Canyon Miners Receive Small Death Benefits

Families of Crandall Canyon Miners Receive Small Death Benefits



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A lawyer for the families of miners killed in the Crandall Canyon mine disaster says state-mandated death benefits will do little to cover funeral expenses or lost wages.

Attorney Colin King says many of the nine men killed were earning as much as $80,000.

Under the state's Worker's Compensation Fund, the miners families will receive $8,000 if the miner had no dependents and up to $176,000 over six years if there were dependents.

King says that won't cover losses.

But state laws that require industrial businesses to carry insurance also prevent companies from being sued if they've paid up their insurance premiums. A company can only be sued if the death or injury was intentional.

Most Utah coal miners make about $714 a week. Death benefits are paid at a rate that is two-thirds the weekly salary. That means families will get about $476 a week.

Information from: The Deseret Morning News

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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