Blackjewel Bankruptcy Case has New Mediation Date
Wednesday, October, 23, 2019
A mediation order has been issued by the US bankruptcy court concerning Blackjewel and Blackjewel miners. The mediation is set to take place on November 4th. The mediation follows a two-month protest in Cumberland, KY regarding the mine. Despite the end of the protest, lawyers involved in the case continue to take action in court.
Recently, negotiations between the miners and Blackjewel failed, which is what caused the court to intervene and require mediation between the two parties. That mediation will be private and overseen by a federal magistrate.
There are eight attorneys representing nearly 1100 Blackjewel miners in the eastern region. According to Ned Pillersdorf, one of those attorneys, the negotiations have gone on too long. He was speaking to a room of 20 miners and their families, providing them with updates on the situation. Pillersdorf has held meetings consistently since the dispute began and also takes to Facebook to speak to the miners live when possible. He called time the enemy of Blackjewel miners.
The case has failed to move forward in the court system because of the negotiations and upcoming mediation. Pillersdorf is hoping the federal magistrate will speed things up, but he has concerned success in mediation will be possible because the case is so complex. According to Pillersdorf, “This case has a lot of moving parts and a lot at stake.”
Despite his tempered hope, Pillersdorf has not discounted entirely mediation. “"If there is successful mediation this is over sooner rather than later, the bankruptcy gets resolved, hopefully the mines reopen, the miners go back to work and we get them a compensation package. But you never know, bankruptcy court is not a good place to go if you are a wage earner."