- Associated Press - Sunday, March 13, 2016

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) - A federal judge has ruled against two companies owned by gubernatorial candidate Jim Justice in a $2 million royalty dispute related to the sale of a coal mine.

U.S. District Judge Irene C. Berger on Friday granted a summary judgment motion filed by Thomas K. Lampert in May 2015 against companies Tams Management Inc. and Southern Coal Corp., the Charleston Gazette-Mail (https://bit.ly/1P6NjZX) reported.

Lampert argued that the companies owned him $2 million in royalty payments after missing a deadline to accomplish a formal permit transfer when Tams bought Newgate Development of Beckley LLC from Lampert.

Berger stated in a 14-page opinion that the parties had negotiated a royalty provision as part of a mining contract and that Tams agreed that if it was unable to obtain permits within 90 days of the agreement, it would be liable to the plaintiff for a percentage of the $2 million royalty. Berger ruled that Tams and Southern Coal agreed to the provision and are thereby liable to the plaintiff.

Isaac Forman, a lawyer for Lampert, said he is pleased that the court enforced the language of the contract.

Tams and Southern lawyer Jody Wooten stated, “It’s a contractual dispute and we are looking at our options.”

Justice’s lawyers argued that that permit transfers were not transferred by the contractual deadline because of “circumstances beyond the control of Tams.”

Justice is running for governor as a Democrat.

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, https://wvgazettemail.com.


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