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Murray Energy sues Foresight Energy subsidiary for confidentiality breach

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Murray Energy, one of the largest employers in the U.S. coal industry, filed a lawsuit against Williamson Energy on July 3 for an alleged breach of a confidentiality agreement.

Williamson, a longwall mining complex in southern Illinois, is a subsidiary of Foresight Energy, which is an underground coal producer based in St. Louis.

St. Clairsville, Ohio-based Murray is accusing Williamson of illegally using the company’s confidential information to acquire property and mineral rights “directly in the path” of Murray’s longwall mining operations in southern Illinois, according to the statement released July 7.

The company claims that Williamson had the “clear intent to illegally block Murray Energy’s operations, to threaten the jobs of thousands of coal miners, and to gain unfair competitive advantage in this very depressed coal marketplace,” the statement continued.

In the lawsuit, Murray asks the Court to prevent Williamson from continuing to breach the confidentiality agreement, order Williamson to offer Murray mining rights to properties that were illegally acquired, and award Murray for “substantial damages” caused by the alleged breach.

Entitled Murray Energy Corporation v. Williamson Energy, LLC, the lawsuit is pending in First Judicial Circuit Court of Illinois.

Foresight Energy declined to comment about the lawsuit.