Birmingham-based Drummond Co. has filed suit against a noted labor lawyer, claiming that the attorney defamed the company by saying in legal filings and comments that it sponsored and equipped terrorist groups to protect the interests of its Colombian coal mining operations, the Birmingham News reports.
Attorney Terry Collingsworth, of Washington, DC, made the statements in relation to a suit filed on behalf of the families of three murdered union leaders in 2007. The company was acquitted in a federal court jury trial. A follow-up suit is in the courts.
Drummond claims that Collingsworth made the claims to further the interests of the Dutch Llanos Oil Co., which had earlier sought international court action against the Alabama firm.
Meanwhile, Drummond has said it expects its Colombian coal exports to top out at 25 million tons this year, up 14 percent from last year.
By Nedra Bloom