Coal mining executive Bob Murray has lost an appeal in a yearslong case regarding coal miner intimidation.
In an opinion issued Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed with a previous decision that Murray Energy's president and CEO intimidated workers and interfered with miners’ rights to report unsafe working conditions. The appeals court denied Murray's petition to revist the earlier ruling.
In late 2013, Murray told miners at five West Virginia mines they were making too many complaints to federal mine safety regulators. He said employees must raise safety concerns with management too.
Under federal mine safety law, miners have the right to anonymously report safety concerns to federal regulators.
Following complaints from miners, the Labor Department sued Murray Energy. The independent Federal Mine Safety Health and Review Commission found the company violated the law and ordered Murray to pay $20,000 per violation. The commission also ordered Murray to hold a meeting at each mine and personally read a statement about the incidents.
In its ruling, the court denied Murray’s petition to review the commission’s decision and declined to reverse its decision that Murray must personally apologize.
A spokesperson for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.