The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

September 27, 2013

Davis: Supreme Court ruled wrong in Massey case

The Associated Press

CHARLESTON — State Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis is criticizing her colleagues for refusing to let institutional shareholders in the former Massey Energy revive a lawsuit filed after the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster.  

Earlier this month, the justices upheld the dismissal of the case brought by the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, Amalgamated Bank and Manville Trust.

They argued Massey violated a 2008 settlement agreement aimed at making its operations safer, and they were entitled to seek damages after 29 men died and stocks plummeted.

A lower court judge said the settlement was nullified the day Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources bought Massey. It’s now known as Delaware-based Alpha Appalachia Holdings for legal purposes.

Davis said Friday the court wrongly deferred jurisdiction to Delaware, and the decision was unfair and unfathomable.