It was in February of 1972, when a coal dam failed. This was an impression of the heavy rains the area experienced. The dam was slammed by a lot of water thus resulting to the floods. This is a clear impression that it caused massive death. When the disaster occurred, Arnold Stern paid little attention to it. This is an impression that he didn’t prioritize is own country’s affairs despite holding a law office. He had gone to represent African Americans in the south that were being deprived of voting rights.
An impression of negligence is shown by the Justice Department. After the disaster, the survivors got together and decided to demand for justice .they had to look for a law firm that could represent them during the case. The plaintiff decided to chose on Arnold and Porter as their representative team during the case
A clear impression of pain and agony is seen when Arnold and Porter share how their families experienced the ordeal of the disaster. Three babies who were never identified now lay in their grave without their names. According to Gelard, One victim who managed to survive recounted the whole ordeal. He says…
“My wife, she was hanging on the edge of the roof, and she as I tried to help her up, she was kind of heavy she was about five and a half months pregnant and she was a big-boned-like woman, and well, she wasn’t on the real heavy side, but she was heavy anyway, you know. And I picked her up or tried to pick her up with my left hand and holding my son in my right hand her…Somewhere along there I lost that boy of mine. By that time he had stopped screaming and he had drunk so much water and everything. I don’t know what happened to him” (Gelard. 43-44).
It’s impressing that Pittston released a press release saying that the floods were “an act of God”. The public couldn’t believe his word but rather blamed Pittston for the flood and the resultant consequences .an urge for the survivors to seek justice emanated from his response towards the disaster. Arnold & Porter began building the case. They decided to sue Pittston instead of The Buffalo Mining Co.
Pittston indicates the qualities of irresponsible company. It’s impressing that he rushes to settle with as many victims as he could, to an extent of offering 4000 dollars to the victims. Most of the victims also impress the trait of greed, since they had nothing left for them; they had no choice apart from accepting the offer. This act ruins the whole process of achieving justice for the victims.
It’s unfair for the Federal government and the Justice Department to rule out the suit against Pittston. Justice should be paramount and therefore people who lost their lives and property were exempted from a fair treatment from the federal government decisions. A fair trial would have ensured that the victims receive justice for the pain and suffering they faced during the disaster and even the aftermath of the disaster
My personal assessment of ethical conduct of Gelard (Attorney) indicates that he fails to uphold moral ethical and principles in defending and executing constitutional and statutes mandate. It’s evident that the office of the attorney together with the federal government should work collaboratively to alleviate disaster problems. According to Gelard the congressman Ken Hechler sent telegrams report to the attorney and the federal disaster assistance administration showing his shock that the federal government and the Justice department that they won’t reimburse for federal expenditures from the disasters (Gelard, 80).On the other hand, the judge, Pittston company and the buffalo creek management lacks credibility in upholding ethical principles while executing their duties. Would Pittston Company have mitigated the disaster, it would have reduced the emotional disorders among the children.
. Arnold stern should show high degree of control over the subsidiary, act as a shield for corporate limited liability. He should uphold high degree of moral ethics as per the oath to protect against fraudulent, illegal and other wrongful act subjected to the people. Arnold stern should be free from corruption while ruling for justice. As law enforcer, Arnold stern should be reluctant to issue any injunctive orders in their ruling. Together with the bureau of mines, they should enforce strict mitigation measures to ensure that no further disasters occurs
As a law student, my advice to Attorney is that he should uphold justice and moral integrity. He is a tool for administering justice to the local people and therefore when a flood disaster occurs again, he should hold the respective companies responsible. I suggest that stern laws should be applied to them to ensure that they mitigate and apply corrective measures to prevent a disaster in future. For instance in the case of Pittston Company, a rule on revoking their operation licenses in case a new disaster attributable to them occurs again would ensure that they work responsibly with great care of the surrounding environment.
Rangell, Leo. “Discussion of the Buffalo Creek Disaster: The Course of Psychic.” Am J Psychiatry 133.3 (1976): 313.
Titchener, James L., and Frederic T. Kapp. “Family and character change at Buffalo Creek.” The American journal of psychiatry (1976).