CHARLESTON -- A 2006 Fayette County lawsuit regarding Massey Energy and coal miners laid off from Cannelton Mining has been settled.

The 85 coal miners that were laid off from Cannelton Mining after Massey Energy took over and renamed it Mammoth Coal each received a $38,000 check from Massey.

Massey Energy agreed to pay $8.75 million to settle the lawsuit in October. The coal miners received their checks Nov. 29.

When Massey Energy bought Cannelton Mining, the company had refused to hire the coal miners. The miners were all over 40 years old and claimed they were not hired back because of age discrimination.

Fayette Circuit Judge Paul M. Blake Jr. called the settlement fair and reasonable. Blake was the one to approve the settlement.

Charleston lawyer David Grubb represented the miners. He said 65 percent of the check is for partial compensation for back pay and 35 percent is for mental distress and anguish.

Grubb said the settlement is the largest age-discrimination settlement in West Virginia history.

"When we started out, we thought we had a very slight prayer of winning," Grubb said. "We thank Judge Blake for urging a settlement."

The settlement also includes $19,000 for 144 individuals who never worked at the Cannelton Mine, but had applied for jobs after Massey announced plans to reopen it in 2004.

According to the suit, Massey had denied jobs to the 144 applicants because they were over the age of 40.

On Oct. 2, the full National Labor Relations Board issued an order requiring Mammoth Coal to rehire the 85 miners, but Massey is appealing the order in federal court.

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