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Thursday, 22 August 2013 14:48

Peabody retirees applaud appeal court ruling

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Peabody Energy retirees are applauding a court ruling that it remains obligated to continue health-care benefits for some 3,100 retirees of one of the company's former holdings.

An 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' bankruptcy panel on Wednesday overturned U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kathy Surratt-States' May ruling that Peabody no longer was obliged to pay the benefits.

That ruling linked to the bankruptcy of Patriot Coal, which Peabody spun off in 2007.

While the United Mine Workers of America union cheered Wednesday's development, Peabody says the panel didn't rule on the level of funding required to meet future obligations.

Peabody adds the court found the company was obligated to make the payments until a new labor agreement was approved between Patriot and the UMWA. That came in recent days.

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