A federal judge is siding with about 100 miners who say they were fired without first receiving a federally required 60 day warning.
According to media reports, U.S. District Judge James Jones ruled Thursday and said the miners are owed damages.
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The workers challenged their May 2013 dismissals. They worked at Nine Mile Mining, a unit of Southern Coal Corp.
The mine is affiliated with James C. Justice Cos., owned by Appalachian coal billionaire Jim Justice.
Jones ordered attorneys to come up with a settlement amount to be paid to the ex-workers.
Last month, Justice reached a $1.5 million settlement with Kentucky officials over dozens of violations at several of his coal mines in eastern Kentucky.