The "suspenseful and completely absorbing story" (San Francisco Chronicle) of how survivors of the worst coal-mining disaster in history triumphed over corporate irresponsibility—written by the young lawyer who took on their case and won.
One Saturday morning in February 1972, an impoundment dam owned by the Pittston Coal Company burst, sending a 130 million gallon, 25 foot tidal wave of water, sludge, and debris crashing into southern West Virginia's Buffalo Creek hollow. It was one of the deadliest floods in U.S. history. 125 people were killed instantly, more than 1,000 were injured, and over 4,000 were suddenly homeless. Instead of accepting the small settlements offered by the coal company's insurance offices, a few hundred of the survivors banded together to sue.
GERALD M. STERN is a Counselmen at Phillips & Cohen LLP, a practice is devoted exclusively to representing whistleblowers in qui tam lawsuits. He graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School before beginning his legal career in Washington.
"A straightforward, suspenseful, and completely absorbing tale that will leave you cheering at the end." —San Francisco Chronicle
“Jerry Stern's classic work provides readers with tremendous insight into the causes of the disaster.... It is powerful, troubling, and uplifting.” —From the foreword by President Bill Clinton
“A shocking, timely book.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A fascinating tale of how investigative lawyers work, intermingled with sympathetic portraits of the survivors of the disaster.” —Chicago Tribune
“Fascinating reading.... An inside look at a history-making case.” —The Boston Globe