Miner’s Daughter Wants Company Held Responsible For Father’s Death

Jun 5, 2012

The daughter of a north Idaho miner killed in a tunnel collapse last year says federal regulators are failing to hold the company responsible. She says new fines do not do justice to her father’s death. The federal government is proposing $360,000 in penalties related to an accident that killed fifty-three-year-old Larry Marek.

Marek died more than a mile underground last April. It happened at the Lucky Friday Mine near Mullan, Idaho. Federal investigators cited “aggravated conduct” on the part of Hecla Mining. Inspectors found the company had violated safety standards when it allowed Marek to extract silver ore from a mass of unstable rock.

Larry Marek’s daughter, Hayley Marek, says the $360,000 in fines doesn’t go far enough. "I mean I don’t think there’s any amount that could ever be sufficient and obviously there’s no amount that will ever change what happened. But I do 100 percent think that it could have been prevented and they need to be held responsible," Hayley Marek says.

The company declined to comment on the fines, as it’s an ongoing legal matter. Hecla’s president had earlier predicted the fines could reach as much as $1 million. The mine has been closed since December while the company makes federally mandated improvements.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network