CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to preserve benefits for bankrupt Patriot Coal Corp.'s active and retired miners.
U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin on Friday sided with Peabody Energy and Arch Coal.
The United Mine Workers of America filed the lawsuit last year, saying the companies set up spinoff companies to rid themselves of their benefits obligations. The lawsuit argued they were still responsible for those benefits under the federal Employee Retirement and Income Securities Act.
But Goodwin ruled the law doesn't protect a pension fund's financial stability.
UMW President Cecil Roberts tells The Charleston Gazette the union plans to appeal.
Peabody spun off Patriot in 2007, and Patriot later acquired mines that Arch spun off into Magnum Coal. Patriot declared bankruptcy last year.
CHICAGO (AP) - An Illinois judge promises to rule on the future of a lawsuit seeking to legalize same-sex marriage in the state.
The lawsuit was filed last year by 25 gay couples who want the right to marry.
Cook County Judge Sophia Hall is expected to rule Friday on a motion to dismiss the case.
Lawyers for five downstate county clerks who are defending the ban want the case tossed. Plaintiffs' attorneys want the judge to let the lawsuit stand - then rule immediately that they won the lawsuit and that the ban is illegal.
The clerks won permission to defend the ban after Cook County's top prosecutor and the Illinois attorney general refused to do so, saying the 17 year old ban violates the state constitution.
Illinois legalized civil unions two years ago.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A national group is vowing to sue if Missouri legislators enact a law allowing criminal charges against federal agents who attempt to enforce federal gun-control laws.
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence said Wednesday that it is prepared to sue if the Missouri Legislature overrides Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of the bill. Lawmakers were convening Wednesday to decide on the veto override.
The legislation attempts to nullify federal policies that "infringe on the people's right to keep and bear arms." It allows state misdemeanor charges against federal authorities who try to enforce those laws or against anyone who publishes the identity of a gun owner.
The Brady Center says the measure violates constitutional provisions protecting free-speech and declaring federal laws supreme over conflicting state measures.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the drugstore chain Walgreens is overcharging customers on about 20 percent of the items it sells.
Koster has filed a civil lawsuit against the Illinois-based retailer after undercover investigators in his office visited eight stores across the state, including two in the St. Louis area.
Koster says in some cases, the price posted on the shelf was for a sale that had long expired. In other cases, the retailer promised discounted prices for rewards members, then charged the regular price at the checkout.
Koster says anyone who feels they were overcharged, or who witnesses deceptive pricing should call the Missouri Consumer Hotline at 1-800-392-8222 or visit his website.
In response to the lawsuit, Walgreens issued the following statement:
"We have a 112-year history of acting in our customers' best interests, and that will continue to be our focus. While we won't comment on the complaint itself, we were disappointed and disagree with the attorney general's comments. However, we are prepared to have a constructive dialogue about the issues he raised and address any appropriate concerns."
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - An environmental group is heading to court in another attempt to overturn the way Missouri officials have implemented a 2008 ballot initiative about renewable energy.
The initiative requires investor-owned utilities to tap renewable energy sources for at least 5 percent of their electricity by 2014, with that amount gradually rising to 15 percent by 2021.
In 2011, the Legislature blocked part of an administrative rule that would have required the electricity from renewable energy sources to be produced or sold in Missouri. The result is that utilities have been able to purchase credits for renewable energy produced by others.
A lawsuit filed this past week on behalf of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment challenges the legal basis for the Legislature's action.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House member and his wife are going to court over what they say is a requirement that their group health insurance include coverage for contraception.
The Thomas More Society filed a federal lawsuit in St. Louis on Wednesday on behalf of Paul and Teresa Wieland. Paul Wieland is a Republican from Imperial.
According to court documents, the family previously opted out of coverage for contraceptives, sterilization or abortifacients. The lawsuit contends the Wielands have been told their coverage must now include contraception and sterilization because of the federal health care law.
The Wielands contend their religious, free speech and parental rights have been violated. The lawsuit seeks a declaratory judgment and an injunction.
The former Cardinal who is in hot water for his comments linking Albert Pujols to performance enhancing drugs has hired a noted St. Louis attorney.
Jack Clark has retained Chet Pleban to represent him in any litigation started by Pujols.
Clark issued a statement Tuesday saying, "I stand by my previous remarks regarding Pujols and will rigorously defend any lawsuit that he chooses to file. Litigation is an intense fact finding process and I welcome the opportunity for a jury of 12 unbiased people to judge the credibility of my comments."
Clark was fired from his radio job after saying on air that he knew for a fact that Pujols had used PEDs.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Albert Pujols says he's taking legal action against Jack Clark after the former St. Louis Cardinals star accused him of taking performance-enhancing drugs.
The injured Los Angeles Angels' slugger released a statement Friday night, saying: "I am currently in the process of taking legal action against Jack Clark and his employers at WGNU 920AM."
Clark said Pujols' former trainer, Chris Mihlfeld, told him 10 years ago that he "shot him up."
Pujols is sidelined by a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot. He's in his second season with the Angels after 11 years in St. Louis.
One group says they have no plans to sue the Mehlville School District.
The Children's Education Alliance of Missouri had been discussing filing a lawsuit on behalf of families in the Riverview Gardens School District.
In a news release Thursday, CEAM said the Mehlville and Kirkwood Districts have not identified spots for all students who wanted to transfer. They believe Mehlville and Kirkwood officials have been negotiating in good faith and are trying to find a positive resolution for all parties involved.
Mehlville Superintendent Dr. Eric Knost says the district is making every effort to place students transferring in from Riverview Gardens without compromising the education of any student in the district.
Knost released a statement Monday evening in response to a lawsuit from the Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri on behalf of three Riverview Gardens parents.
Mehlville has limited the number students it will accept from the unaccredited district in an effort to retain current class size limits and staffing levels, but the school-choice advocacy group says there's room for more than the 216 the district has accepted.
Knost says the District will work with legal counsel to respond appropriately to the court action.