Coal lawsuit settled for $265M in Massachusetts

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Massachusetts made a deal with Alpha Appalachia Holdings Inc. worth $265 million, settling on allegations that the company misrepresented its safety record after a fatal mine explosion in 2010, resulting in an inflation on the company’s stock price.

In the lawsuit, the State’s pension fund versus the former Massey Energy Co., now known as Alpha Appalachia after being acquired by Alpha Natural Resources Inc. in 2011.

Massey Energy, previously was the fourth-largest coal producer in the U.S. prior to the acquisition for $7.1 billion in 2011.  Later that year, Alpha Natural Resources paid $209 million to settle criminal charges related to the Upper Big Branch explosion, according to Reuters.

The lawsuit claimed that Massey Energy hid decades-long safety violations, uncovered by the investigation into a deadly explosion at its Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia that resulted in 29 fatalities.

The company's stock price plunged after the incident.

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