Judge declines to dismiss Murray defamation lawsuit

By The Asscoaited Press

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a defamation suit against The New York Times by Murray Energy Corp. over an April editorial that described the coal mining company as "a serial violator" of federal health and safety rules.

 

WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — A federal judge has refused to dismiss a defamation suit against The New York Times by Murray Energy Corp. over an April editorial that described the coal mining company as "a serial violator" of federal health and safety rules.

The suit also alleges defamation for saying owner Bob Murray "earned infamy when he falsely insisted that the 2007 collapse of his Crandall Canyon mine, which killed six miners, was due to an earthquake, not dodgy mining practices."

Judge John Preston Bailey writes the claims are sufficiently plausible for the case to proceed, though both sides agree "that the serial violator statement is, to an extent, a true statement."

Separately, Baily sent a Murray defamation suit against HBO "Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver back to a West Virginia state court.

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