Who are "the Masseys"?
"In 1998, Hugh Caperton filed a lawsuit against A.T. Massey Coal Company alleging that Massey fraudulently canceled a coal supply contract with Harman Mining, resulting in its going out of business. In 2007, when the case came before the West Virginia Supreme Court, Caperton petitioned for Justice Benjamin to recuse himself. Benjamin declined and was ultimately part of the 3 to 2 majority that overturned the jury's $50 million verdict. In November 2008, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal. Wal-Mart, PepsiCo, Intel Corporation, Lockheed Martin, Common Cause and Public Citizen filed briefs in the case urging the United States Supreme Court to reject the West Virginia Supreme Court's decision. The briefs contended that Justice Brent Benjamin was biased in the case. On June 8, 2009, The US Supreme Court agreed 5-4, sending the case back to the West Virginia Supreme Court, and forcing Justice Benjamin to recuse himself from the case. The New York Times opined that the case involved "egregious ethical myopia" on the part of Justice Benjamin.
In February 2003 a judge ordered Massey to pay the residents of Sylvester, West Virginia $473,000 to settle complaints that coal dust from Massey's Elk Run Processing Plant had caused health problems and lowered property values in the nearby town. In addition the payment to the residents of Sylvester, West Virginia, Massey Energy was ordered to construct a cloth dome over their coal processing plant to reduce the dust.
On September 16, 2004, a civil jury ordered Massey to pay $1.54 million in damages to 245 residents of Mingo County, W. Va., who lost their water wells after Massey had mined beneath the homes. The jury concluded that Massey acted “with malicious, willful, wanton, reckless or intentional disregard for plaintiffs’ rights.”
In 2005, Wheeling, W.Va.-based steelmaker Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel sued Virginia-based Massey Energy claiming Massey failed to deliver on a contract of 104,000 tons of coal monthly. In July 2007, a Circuit Court in Brooke County, W.Va. upheld the jury award of more than $267 million, including accrued interest.
In 2005, some residents of Raleigh County, West Virginia, complained that Massey's Goals Coal Company was endangering the health and well-being of students at the adjacent Marsh Fork Elementary School.[In July 2005, the West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection revoked a permit for construction of a coal silo near the school. However, some local employees and residents supported Massey Energy by arguing that the economic benefits received from the company outweigh the environmental impact to the area. 30 non-violent protestors were arrested, including actress Daryl Hannah, NASA climatologist James E. Hansen, and former West Virginia Congressman Ken Hechler. In June 2009, the West Virginia Supreme Court concluded that the Massey was allowed to build their second silo; "We therefore find that the circuit court did not err, and properly affirmed the decision of the West Virginia Surface Mine Board."
In December 2008 residents of Prenter, West Virginia filed a lawsuit claiming that underground slurry injection from a Massey coal facility, and other coal preparation plants, contaminated their underground water supply. On June 12, 2012 a confidential settlement was reached between Massey Energy and the residents of Prenter, West Virginia.
On Oct 30, 2009, Fayette County West Virginia Judge Paul Blake ruled in an age discrimination lawsuit that more than 200 miners who were not rehired after Massey Energy Co. bought a bankrupt West Virginia mine were entitled to a settlement of $8.75 million. The suit covers 229 miners, including 82 union miners. Massey has been ordered to rehire the miners.
I don't dead miners violations--ask flackmassey...he LOVES 'em.