|Robert Murray, owner|
Murray accepted 17 of the 20 citations that the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration issued after its investigation in July 2008. MSHA levied fines of $1.64 million, and Murray will pay less than 58 percent of that amount. The company said it made the settlement to avoid "a contentious trial" and said evidence at trial would have shown that the violations didn't contribute to the disaster. But Labor Department Solicitor Patricia Smith told Gorrell the firm "acknowledged responsibility for the failures that led to the tragedy at Crandall Canyon. These failures resulted in the needless deaths of nine members of the mining community," including two miners killed in a failed rescue/recovery attempt. "We settled for what we thought we’d have gotten if we tried the case."