Virginia Judge Orders New Trial on Damages in Coal Contract Dispute

January 14, 2015

A Virginia judge has ordered a new trial on damages in a coal contract dispute between Massey Energy and the owner of three defunct coal companies.

In May 2014, a jury in Buchanan County, Virginia, awarded $4 million to Hugh Caperton’s companies and $1 million to Caperton.

The Charleston Gazette reports that Buchanan County Circuit Court Judge Henry A. Vanover ordered a new trial on the damages last week. Vanover’s ruling says the jury was improperly influenced by a Massey lawyer’s closing arguments.

A new trial date hasn’t been set.

Caperton’s lawsuit alleged that his companies were financially damaged when Massey slashed the amount of coal it had agreed to buy from them.

Alpha Natural Resources bought Massey in 2011.

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