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Massey shareholders' case on hold until mid-April

BECKLEY, W.Va. -- A lawsuit by shareholders who say Massey Energy lied about its safety record to inflate stock prices for two years before the Upper Big Branch mine explosion is now on hold until mid-April.

Last week, prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Irene Berger to let them continue keeping secret any evidence they've gathered in the continuing criminal probe of the 2010 disaster that killed 29 men.

Berger granted that motion Thursday. She said a previous order aimed at protecting the integrity of the criminal investigation will stand until April 15 or until the government's work is finished.

The investigation has spawned three prosecutions so far.

Investors led by the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Trust contend shareholders had no clue about Massey's long history of violations until after the West Virginia disaster.


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