Gov. Justice coal companies fined

LONDON, KY (AP) – Companies tied to West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice have been ordered to pay $35 million in damages for defaulting on a mining contract.

The lawsuit stems from a 2005 deal in which Kentucky Fuel gained the right to mine coal in Breathitt County in exchange for royalties. The company, operated at the time by Justice, never mined the coal. New London Tobacco Market and its agent, Fivemile Energy LLC, sued in 2012.

The $35 million judgment against Kentucky Fuel and the James C. Justice Companies won’t end the case. The Justice companies are asking the judge to reconsider how much they will have to pay and vowing to appeal if he doesn’t change his mind.

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