Judge Sides with Coal Companies

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that wanted to preserve benefits for bankrupt Patriot Coal's active and retired miners. The United Mine Workers of America filed the lawsuit last year, saying the companies set up spinoff companies to rid themselves of their benefits obligations. The lawsuit argued they were still responsible for those benefits under the federal Employee Retirement and Income Securities Act. But the judge sided with Peabody Energy and Arch Coal, ruling the law doesn't protect a pension fund's financial stability.
UMW President Cecil Roberts told The Charleston Gazette the union plans to appeal.