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Coal producers settle suit over flooded W.Va. mine

Coal mine operator Pinnacle Mining Co. LLC reached a settlement with Bluestone Coal Corp. over allegations that Pinnacle flooded a Bluestone mine and destroyed a nearby coal reserve.

Bluestone, owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and his family, wrote in a 2016 filing that a borehole Pinnacle drilled in West Virginia deviated from an agreed plan, flooding Bluestone's neighboring Double-Bonus mine and ruining the nearby Bee Branch coal reserve. The lawsuit sought $600 million in compensation as well as punitive damages.

Pinnacle's response said the Double-Bonus mine had been "all but mined out," and Bluestone's claims would immediately bankrupt Pinnacle if they were successful and would put more than 400 miners out of work.

The terms of the settlement, reached Oct. 3, were not disclosed.