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By Samuel R. Avro on Dec 1, 2008 with no responses

Supreme Court Rejects Massey Energy Damages Appeal


The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by coal miner Massey Energy of a jury decided ruling which compelled them to pay $100 million in punitive damages to Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation as a result of a contract dispute.

The jury in West Virginia awarded $100 million in punitive damages and $119 in compensatory damages to Wheeling-Pittsburgh in a lawsuit which alleged breach of contract and fraud on Richmond, Virginia based Massey’s part.

Massey, the 4th largest coal producer in the United States by revenue, challenged the ruling and brought the case to the Supreme Court.

But on Monday, the high court sided with Wheeling-Pittsburgh by saying that a review of the case was not warranted to examine the trial court’s findings and award of the punitive damages.

The company reacted to the decision in a statement released after the high court’s decision. “We are disappointed because we felt our case was worthy of the Court’s review, but we understood from the start that the Court accepts only a very limited number of cases every year,” said M. Shane Harvey, Massey Energy Vice President and General Counsel.