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Va. justices revive Massey lawsuit

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia Supreme Court has revived a legal battle between coal companies that has been fought over the last 15 years in courts in Virginia and West Virginia.

The justices unanimously ruled Thursday that a Buchanan County judge erred when he dismissed a lawsuit against Richmond-based Massey Energy. Hugh Caperton claims his companies were financially damaged when Massey slashed the amount of coal it had agreed to buy.

A West Virginia jury in 2002 awarded $50 million to Caperton, but that verdict has been rejected three times by the West Virginia Supreme Court. The case was shifted to Virginia, where a judge said the issues had already been resolved by previous rulings. The Virginia Supreme Court disagreed, ruling that he issues in the Virginia filing are different.


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