The Buffalo Creek Disaster Essay
A book by Gerald Stern
|PART ONE |
|On the morning of the 26th February 1972 a coal company's massive coal-waste refuse pile which dammed a stream in middle fork hollow |
|collapsed in the Buffalo Creek Valley. Over 130 million gallons of water and waste material devastated Buffalo Creek's sixteen |
|communities. Over 125 people perished almost immediately, mostly women and children. There were over 4000 survivors but their 1000 |
|homes as well as most of their …show more content…
Arnold & Porter had not enough lawyers to handle the case properly so G. Stern decided to dedicate the rest of his pro bono partnership exclusively to this case. Since survivors could not afford to pay a legal fee to Arnold & Porter, the firm wuld represent them on a contingent-fee basis. If they won the firm would get a percentage of the award, if they lost, the firm would get nothing.
|Chapter four : “Mountain Mama” |
The supreme court had recently held that organizations such as the Buffalo Creek Citizens Committee (BCCC) have the right to recommend particular lawyers to their members. Therefore, Amos Wilson's potential attempt to prohibit the firm from representing the BCCC would certainly be a failure. Amos Wilson was a famous WV layer who claimed the legitimacy of representation as the survivors' lawyer.
The refuse pile was started in 1947 when the coal cleaning plant first opened. The coal cleaning plant (also called “tipple”) gives off an enormous amount of waste products, especially liquid refuse. In the early 1950s WV told the coal companies to stop discharging the black waste