Logourl black
From our private database of 13,800+ case briefs...

In re Massey Energy Company Derivative and Class Action Litigation

Delaware Court of Chancery
2011 Del. Ch. LEXIS 83 (2011)


Facts

Massey Energy Company (Massey) (defendant) was a large coal mining corporation that had a reputation for intentionally disregarding safety regulations. Massey was openly hostile and aggressive toward state and federal regulators. In short, Massey had a history of non-compliance with regulations and several settlements and judgments against it for safety violations, including a 2008 settlement of a derivative suit alleging that the Massey board breached its fiduciary duties. After these settlements and judgments, the corporate culture of Massey did not significantly change. Then, in April 2010, an explosion occurred at a Massey mine, killing 29 miners. The West Virginia Governor and the Mining Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) produced reports concluding that the cause of the explosion was Massey’s chronic lack of compliance with federal and state safety regulations. Massey stockholders (plaintiffs) brought another derivative suit in the Delaware Court of Chancery, alleging continued breach of the board’s fiduciary duties. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that even after being found criminally liable for safety violations and settling the prior derivative suit, the Massey board and CEO knowingly and intentionally continued to violate safety regulations and, by doing so, knowingly and intentionally put miners at risk.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Strine, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 169,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.