Associated Press Published

Court Upholds $1.23M Fine for Justice Coal Company


A federal appeals court has upheld $1.23 million in civil contempt fines ordered against one of Gov. Jim Justice’s family coal companies.

The court says it lacks jurisdiction to hear an appeal of the $30,000 daily civil fines intended by Judge Irene Berger to compel the company to comply with her orders to provide documents and appear in court.

Justice Energy Co. was first sued in the case by James River Equipment, a Virginia-based company, in November 2013 for $150,000 for unpaid parts, service and equipment.

The parties reached a settlement for $180,000 last year.

The Justice companies’ attorneys argued that initial debt occurred when Russian company Mechel Bluestone owned the mining operation and they didn’t learn of the January 2015 civil contempt order for a year.