The firm Gerald Stern worked for, Arnold & Porter, started to interview and review the summary of events with the survivors. The firm would have an office set up at gas stations to complete these interviews. The firm would show victim’s the deceased people, but the people were unidentifiable because of how much gunk from the coal built up on the bodies.
One of the survivors stated that his family began on the roof of their house. Then the husband was on the roof of the house while the wife was hanging off. The husband tried to get the wife, but the wife was unable to hang on and got ripped away in the water. The husband who was doing his best to hold onto the child ripped away as well. The husband had lost his child and his wife that day. The victims and people who were still alive had been given temporary housing by the government. The company responsible was still doing their best to settle with as many people as possible.
Stern and firm had to make a decision on what jurisdiction to file in, but decided on federal court. The firm had to give a monetary value in regards to the amount of property that was lost or destroyed. To give a monetary value, the firm had to evaluate personal property, real estate, and other things to value to suit. In addition to personal property, the psychic impairment that the victims went through is unbelievable.
The governor of West Virginia established a team to examine and detail out the events that took place that lead to the flood. The government team established that Pittston flagrantly disregarded the people of Buffalo Creek. As the firm continued its efforts and information gathering, Pittston did its best to deflect blame, but was unsuccessful in its efforts.
It became abundantly clear that Pittston did control the companies involved in this matter. Jurisdiction was important with this case because it is the courts power to hear a dispute or lawsuit. In order for the federal court to hear the case, it must have the subject and personal jurisdiction. Federal courts have jurisdiction over all United States citizens.
Diversity of citizenship between the parties relates to why the firm decided to file in federal court. Victims of the Buffalo creek disaster could be people who did not live in the state, but their family members did, or people could have lived out of the jurisdiction. In addition, the claims against the defendants exceeded the $75,000 threshold required to file in federal court.
As the case developed, it became known that the psychic impairment was the most important and could provide the highest monetary value to the victims. Pittston did its best to ensure as much information as possible was kept from the public. They did this to save the image of their company, but the information was later ruled on by a judge and