Mass. Pension Board Settle Alpha Appalachia Holdings Lawsuit

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts officials have announced a $265 million settlement with mining company Alpha Appalachia Holdings Inc. for allegedly misrepresenting its safety record in an effort to artificially inflate its stock price.

The Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, which oversees public pension investments in Massachusetts, was the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit brought by multiple investors against the company formerly known as Massey Energy Co.

The plaintiffs alleged that Massey told investors it strongly adhered to proper safety procedures, but the company had a culture of safety violations, leading to an explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia that killed 29 people in April 2010. The investigation uncovered hundreds of safety violations, causing the company's stock to plunge.

A call to Bristol, Va.-based Alpha Appalachia was not immediately returned Monday.

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