Curtis Tate Published

Justice, 2 Coal Companies Face Lawsuit From Bond Provider In Virginia

Gov. Jim Justice spreads his arms before signing bills at the John Amos power plant, with his English bulldog, Babydog, sitting in a chair next to him.
Gov. Jim Justice speaks to workers at the John Amos Power Plant, accompanied by Babydog.
Curtis Tate/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Jim Justice and two of his family’s coal companies face yet another lawsuit in Virginia.

Western Surety Co. sued Justice, Southern Coal Corp. and Bluestone Resources this week in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.

Western Surety alleges breach of contract and seeks more than $3 million in damages and attorney’s fees.

Justice and his family own dozens of coal-related companies, including Southern and Bluestone. Both are based in Roanoke, Virginia.

Justice, who’s running for the U.S. Senate in 2024, faces a multitude of legal challenges.

Another bond provider, Federal Insurance Co., sued Justice and four of his companies in June in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeking $8.1 million in damages.

The U.S. Justice Department sued 13 of Justice’s companies in May over mine health and safety violations. The government seeks to collect $7.6 million in penalties.

Another Justice-owned company, Blackstone Energy, could owe the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality numerous fines of $32,500 per day going back three years.

In a filing last month in Richmond Circuit Court, the Virginia attorney general’s office asked Blackstone to show why it isn’t in violation of a consent order that requires it to clean up contamination at several mine sites.