Massey lawsuit settled

INSIDER trading allegations against United States mining major Massey Energy were dropped under a settlement agreement reached in a shareholder lawsuit last week.
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Staff Reporter

In 2002 company shareholders claimed executives had engaged in insider trading, illegal employment practices and lawlessness regarding environmental regulations, Associated Press Newswires reported.

Massey denied the allegations and company attorneys pointed out that since many of the purported actions occurred between the 1970s and October 2000, they could not have affected shareholders as Massey went public in November 2000.

According to the terms of the settlement, Massey will recommend reducing voting requirements from 80% to 67% of shareholders for proposed changes to company bylaws. An 80% vote is still required to pass the change.

In addition, Massey will increase the number of board members from nine to 12 and establish a lower mandatory retirement age for directors.

During the litigation Massey made several changes to its corporate governance structure such as the appointment of a lead independent director and strengthening independence requirements.