Children of slain men seek appeal

A FEDERAL appeals court may rehear a case against Alabama-based Drummond Coal after the children of three union leaders killed in Colombia more than a decade ago asked the court to reinstate a lawsuit against the company.

Staff Reporter

Labor lawyer Terry Collingsworth, representing the mens’ children, argued before a three-judge panel of the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals that former lawsuits had not recognized the claims of the children.

Three workers at Drummond's coal mine in Colombia were shot to death in 2001 by paramilitary gunmen that the union claimed had been hired by the company to eliminate labor leaders.

A lawsuit filed by the workers’ widows five years ago claiming that Drummond had hired hitmen to kill the three men, who were all union leaders, was rejected by the jury.

Drummond denied hiring gunmen and said it had nothing to do with the deaths.

The mens’ children filed a suit two years after the verdict but US District Judge David Proctor threw out the case.

On Thursday Collingsworth said a separate trial should be held to consider the claims of the mens' children.

"The children have their separate claims that were not covered," he said.

Drummond argues the judge was correct in dismissing the lawsuit because, for legal purposes, considering a lawsuit involving the miners' wives was the same as deliberating one for the children, the AP reported.

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