The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia has again reversed the $50 million verdict obtained in 2002 by Hugh Caperton and his companies against Massey and several of its subsidiaries. Caperton v. A. T. Massey Coal Co. was before the Court for the third time, following the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in June that Chief Justice Brent Benjamin should have recused himself from earlier appeals.

As in the two earlier appeals, Acting Chief Justice Robin Davis wrote the opinion, which relies on the forum-selection clause "contained in a contract that directly related to the conflict giving rise to the … lawsuit" as the basis for finding that the circuit court erred in not granting Massey’s motion to dismiss. Justices Ketchum and McHugh and Senior Status Judge Holliday joined in the opinion, and Justice Workman dissented.

I will write another post after I’ve had a chance to read the opinion in more detail.