According to my host, the server company overrode the C drive for the 60+ websites, then finalized the loss by deleting the secondary drive where the website's backups were maintained.
So many things spring to mind here, and not only from the webmasters perspective. There are countless host re-sellers, who don't actually have the servers on-site or even live anywhere the servers. They are dependent on someone else for maintenance. How are they protected?
Web designers should have a local, backed up copy of their site. Do site owners have a legal leg to stand on if their site is "lost" through something they had no control over? How much responsibility belongs to the web site owner? Do all site owners really understand what happens when they launch a site?
This Cre8asiteforums thread, Legal Ramifications When Server Deletes Site Accidently, Now What? presents food for thought.