Monday, February 9, 2015

Ex-coal chief says Alpha reneged on deal to pay legal costs

The former coal executive charged in a 2010 mine explosion that killed 29 men is alleging Alpha Natural Resources has reneged on an agreement requiring the company to pay his mounting legal costs.

Ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship filed a lawsuit against the Bristol, Virginia-based company this week.

He alleges that Alpha recently told him it wouldn't cover the costs to defend charges that he conspired to violate safety standards at West Virginia's Upper Big Branch Mine. Massey was bought by Alpha in June 2011.

According to media reports, Alpha confirmed in a statement Friday that it doesn't intend to pay Blankenship's legal fees going forward.

The legal filing says Alpha's lawyers said the company determined Blankenship had reasonable cause to believe his conduct was unlawful.

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