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Bankruptcy settlement could pay coal workers $17.3 million

FILE - This Sept. 6, 2019, file photo, shows the Eagle Butte mine just north of Gillette, Wyo....
FILE - This Sept. 6, 2019, file photo, shows the Eagle Butte mine just north of Gillette, Wyo. Two of the biggest U.S. coal mines have been sold, raising the possibility that miners in Wyoming could return to work after almost four months off the job. Tennessee-based Contura Energy announced Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, that Blackjewel closed Friday on the sale of the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines to a subsidiary of Alabama-based FM Coal. (AP Photo/Mead Gruver, File) (KGWN)
Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 11:57 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Some 1,700 employees of a bankrupt coal mining company would get up to $17.3 million in back pay under a proposed class-action settlement.

Ned Pillersdorf is an attorney for the former employees of Milton, West Virginia-based Blackjewel in Wyoming and Appalachia.

Pillersdorf tells KTWO Radio that workers could get checks early next year depending on the outcome of bankruptcy court hearings this fall. Blackjewel all but completely shut down operations, including its vast Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines in northeastern Wyoming, after filing for bankruptcy in July 2019. The bankruptcy put about 600 employees in Wyoming and 1,100 in Appalachia out of work.

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