NEW YORK, Dec. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Board ("MA PRIM"), as lead plaintiff for a class of purchasers of Massey Energy Company ("Massey") common stock, has reached a $265 million all-cash settlement to resolve the securities fraud claims pending in In re Massey Energy Co. Securities Litigation, No. 5:10-cv-00689 (S.D. W. Va.). The settlement, which will benefit thousands of class members, is subject to court approval.
Massey is one of the largest producers of coal in the United States, and the securities fraud claims center around Massey's misrepresentation of its safety practices, and the financial losses suffered by investors when the market learned of those misrepresentations. As alleged, Massey and its officials misled investors by regularly affirming and touting its "safety improvement initiatives" established after a deadly fire at one of its coal mines in 2006, and then in April 2010, 29 miners died in an explosion at Massey's Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia in one of the deadliest US coal mining accidents in 40 years. News of the explosion, subsequent criminal investigations and indictments, and Congressional testimony revealed that despite Massey's public statements of putting "safety first," it had in fact disregarded industry safety standards and routinely concealed safety violations from federal safety inspectors.
"We are very pleased to achieve this settlement on behalf of investors," said Joel Bernstein, a partner at the law firm of Labaton Sucharow, which served as counsel for Mass PRIM and co-lead counsel for the class together with the law firm of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd.
"We worked hard in litigating this case vigorously to achieve this very significant settlement payment," said Chris Supple, MA PRIM's Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel, who led the litigation effort along with Michael Sweeney, Deputy General Counsel to the State Treasurer, and Assistant Attorney General Matthew Gendron. "This settlement should remind corporate leaders of the importance of taking good care not only of the financial capital of their investors, but also the human capital of their employees," Supple said.
About MA PRIM
MA PRIM invests the retirement assets of hundreds of thousands of MA retirees, and its mission is to maximize the return on investment within acceptable levels of risk by broadly diversifying its investment portfolio, capitalizing on economies of scale to achieve cost-effective operations, and providing access to high quality, innovative investments, all under the management of a professional staff and members of the Board. MA PRIM considers litigation claims to be assets of its Fund, and pursues its litigation claims vigorously.
About Labaton Sucharow LLP
Labaton Sucharow, one of the nation's premier law firms, has championed investor and consumer rights for 50 years, seeking recovery of losses and the adoption of necessary corporate governance reforms to protect institutional investors, businesses, and consumers in complex securities, M&A, derivative, corporate governance/shareholder rights, and whistleblower litigation.
About Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP
Robbins Geller represents U.S. and international institutional investors in contingency-based securities and corporate litigation. With nearly 200 lawyers in nine offices, the firm represents hundreds of public and multi-employer pension funds with combined assets under management in excess of $2 trillion. The firm has obtained many of the largest recoveries in history and has been ranked number one in the number of shareholder class action recoveries in MSCI's Top SCAS 50 every year since 2003. Please visit http://www.rgrdlaw.com for more information.
SOURCE Labaton Sucharow LLP