Massey Energy Shareholders Sue Board of Directors

Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey Energy

Heavily criticized by federal and local officials in the wake of the West Virginia mining accident, Massey Energy Co. is now facing a lawsuit from some of its shareholders.

The civil case, filed by the New Jersey Building Laborers Pension Fund, accuses the company of disregarding mine safety regulations. In fact, the plaintiffs claim the company treated safety matters with contempt, so much so that the death of 29 workers at the Upper Big Branch mine “did not come as a surprise to many.”
The shareholders are seeking punitive damages for breach of fiduciary duties, as well as greater inspection of the company’s mines, as well as the removal of its “imperious” CEO and chairman, Donald Blankenship, whose “heedless and misguided views” helped damage the company’s reputation and finances. The complaint accuses the Massey board of directors of being unwilling or unable to stop Blankenship from determining company policy that has resulted in an “apparently continuing pattern of flagrant disregard for mine safety laws and regulations."
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Massey Coal Mine Explosion Was No Surprise, Shareholders Say (by R.M. Kramer, Courthouse News Service)
Massey Shareholders Lawsuit (Delaware State Court) (pdf)


Leave a comment