Paul Beers, Andrea Hopkins, and Glenn, Feldmann, Darby & Goodlatte, along with Hugh F. O’Donnell, Esq., of Norton, brought class actions under the federal WARN Act against two affiliates of Southern Coal Corporation.
Michael W. Sullivan, et al. v. Nine Mile Mining, Inc., Case No. 2:13CV00040, and Hayward Creech, Jr., et al. v. Virginia Fuel Corporation, Case No. 2:14CV00006. Both class actions were filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon. These actions arose from layoffs of approximately 155 coal miners by Southern Coal Corporation affiliates in Wise County, Virginia mines in May 2013.
The WARN Act requires larger employers to provide 60 days’ notice prior to carrying out a mass layoff or plant closing which causes job losses for at least 50 employees at a single site of employment.
Judge Jones in Abingdon awarded plaintiffs summary judgment on the question of liability in the Nine Mile Mining class action. The parties then resolved both cases with the assistance of United States Magistrate Judge Pamela Meade Sargent, who served as mediator.
One of the class actions settled prior to trial for $625,000, while the other settled for $745,000, for a total recovery of $1,370,000. Both settlements were approved by the district court as proposed by the parties after affording class members an opportunity to file objections. None objected.