The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Money

July 9, 2014

Ohio coal mining company says rival pulled double-cross

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — One of the biggest U.S. coal-mining companies is accusing an Illinois rival of a double-cross.

Ohio-based Murray Energy Corp. clams in a lawsuit that Williamson Energy LLC since 2009 has bought up parcels of southern Illinois land Murray wanted to expand its coal operations. Murray argues Williamson did that using Murray's confidential information shared with Williamson during an ill-fated deal between the two companies.

The lawsuit has been filed in southern Illinois' Saline County, where Murray has some of its operations.

The lawsuit claims Williamson breached terms of a confidentiality agreement. The suit asks that Williamson be blocked from making similar land purchases and forced to offer Murray mineral rights to the land already bought.

Messages left with St. Louis-based Foresight Energy, Williamson Energy's corporate parent, haven't been returned.

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