LOUISA – Kirk Law Firm – with its central office at Paintsville
and with other offices from Ashland to Pikeville, from Inez to Lexington
– will open its newest office on October 1 at Food City Plaza in
Louisa, according to information from the firm’s senior partner,
The Kirk Firm started as a single office at Inez and was founded by John Kirk “to represent coal miners,” according to Kirk, whose father was an underground coal miner. “That’s exactly how and why we started out in the first place,” Kirk said, “to work for working people. My dad, Mr. Tom Kirk, both my grandfathers, many of my uncles, my brother, brother-in-law and many of my friends are or were coal miners,” he said. “So, it was just natural that we work for them.”
The Kirk Firm has long represented coal miners and others with work-related injuries and for many years has been at the top of state rankings in terms of numbers of workers’ compensation cases won
“That’s where our heart is,” Kirk added. “We certainly don’t have a thing against our companies. They serve a vital interest. We just choose to not represent the companies and to represent the individuals instead.”
Five years ago, the Kirk Firm represented 530 families whose homes or land were
impacted by the largest environmental catastrophe of its kind when a 70 acre coal slurry lake ruptured at Martin County Coal Corporation sending 300 million gallons of slurry into Coldwater and Wolf Creek and then down the Big Sandy to the Ohio River, prompting the governor’s office to declare a State of Emergency. “That’s the biggest single civil action we ever did,” Kirk said. “Thankfully, we were able to see justice done and settle every single case without a trial.”
More recently, the Kirk Firm has brought civil actions against a number of coal companies allegedly because the companies “overloaded” coal trucks which were later involved in fatal accidents. “We’ve seen that happen all too often,” Kirk said, “and we have taken legal steps to do something about it, like for Doris Preece, the widow of Rev. Lonnie Preece, and for Paula Duncan, the widow of Mitchell Duncan, two good men who were killed in coal truck accidents when they were hit by overloaded trucks.” Those cases were filed in Martin County and later settled at mediation.
The Kirk Firm has trials set in Louisa early next year involving the deaths of Ronald T. Haney, who died following a collision with a loaded coal truck on US 23 near Louisa, for Sharon Kirk, widow of Joey Kirk, who died in a collision at a red light at Louisa, and for the estate of Joey Rigsby, who died following a collision on US 23 at Ulysses.
Kirk’s newest office will be located at the Food City Plaza and will open on October 1. Kirk and three other lawyers will practice in the Louisa office. “We currently represent lots of folks who live in or near Louisa,” he said. “The new office will be convenient for them. It will also be convenient for the folks in Lawrence and Wayne Counties who wish to file their new social security disability claims at Louisa instead of driving to Ashland, Huntington or Prestonsburg.”
The new Kirk office – like other offices in the firm – can electronically sign up new social security claims for people seeking disability benefits.