This article proposes a Commission mandated mediation process that will offer a solution to the case backlog that prevents regulatory capture while promoting managed cooperation and communication toward a common goal: safety. While the Commission has implemented new rules, procedures, and steps that have helped the backlog, these improvements have only addressed the symptoms and not the cause. Currently, the solutions have focused on how to reduce the case backlog, instead of creating a system that allows for communication and cooperation, while ensuring compliance and safety. While there has been disagreement as to whether or not the case backlog undermines miner safety, it only seems logical that a system premised upon litigation, delay, and frustration does little to enhance safety. While there have not been any formal studies linking the case backlog to unsafe working conditions, the goal of any civil penalty system should be compliance, not litigation.
Recommended CitationPatrick R. Baker, Managed Cooperation in a Post-Sago Mine Disaster World, 33 Pace L. Rev. 491 (2013)
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol33/iss2/1