CalSTRS joined a lawsuit filed in West Virginia against Massey Energy directors, seeking to recover damages for the company from the alleged misconduct of the board over the company’s mine safety compliance record, according to the lawsuit.
The $138 billion California State Teachers’ Retirement System, West Sacramento, and Amalgamated Bank joined the lawsuit filed April 15 by the $1.1 billion Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust, according to Patrick Hill, CalSTRS spokesman, and Badge Humphries, attorney with the law firm of Motley Rice, which is representing the plaintiffs.
The trust was created in 1988 to resolve asbestos personal injury claims against Johns Manville Corp., according to a trust statement.
The suit, filed in Kanawha County Circuit Court in Charleston, W.Va., names as defendants Don L. Blankenship, Massey chairman and CEO, and other directors. It alleges a number of mine safety non-compliance citations at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine that exploded April 5, killing 29 miners and injuring two others.
The suit is seeking to recover damages for the company and not shareholder losses, Mr. Humphries said.
CalSTRS owns some 336,000 Massey shares; Amalgamated holds 23,740 shares in its $11 billion LongView Collective Investment Funds; and the Manville trust, Bedford, N.Y., holds 2,700 shares.
Massey’s media relations department couldn’t be reached for comment.