CHARLESTON — Legal actions involving Gov. Jim Justice’s family and businesses and Carter Bank & Trust will be dismissed after a resolution to the issues was reached.
James C. Justice, III, and Jillean L. Justice said in a statement released by the Justices’ attorney, Steve Ruby, Wednesday that the Justice group of companies has “successfully concluded a number of matters relating to Carter Bank and Trust (CB&T), one of the companies’ longtime financing partners.”
Carter Bank will dismiss the legal actions that it filed against James C. Justice, II, and Cathy Justice in the Martinsville, Va., Circuit Court, and the Justice companies will dismiss their federal action against CB&T and its directors in the Southern District of West Virginia.
“The resolution marks a resumption of the companies’ previous business relationship with CB&T and will allow them to maximize performance in the current favorable markets in mining, hospitality, and agriculture,” the statement from Ruby said.
“We are pleased to move past our disagreements with CB&T, and we look forward to a continued productive relationship with the bank moving forward,” said James C. Justice, III, President of the Justice mining and agriculture businesses. “This resolution clears the way for our businesses and our people to focus on what they do best: producing world-class coal and running world-class farms. Today’s strong coal and agriculture markets present an extraordinary opportunity, and we are now in an even better position to respond to it.”
“Our relationships with our business partners are important to us, and we welcome the resumption of our productive relationship with CB&T,” said Jillean L. Justice, President of The Greenbrier. “In a record-breaking year for The Greenbrier, today’s resolution helps ensure continued strength.”
The Justice family and businesses filed a civil action against CB&T in late May seeking damages of $421 million related to financing arrangements of outstanding loans.
The complaint alleged Carter Bank defendants participated in conduct … “violating anti-competitive behavior statute, breach of contract and in particular the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and breach of fiduciary duties and aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duties relating to financing arrangements between Plaintiffs and Defendants.”
A declaratory judgment was being sought relating to loan modifications in 2017 made by Carter Bank that, the plaintiffs allege, are “unenforceable” and puts the defendants in a position that they “are not entitled to take any action to realize upon such loans (or collateral therefore or guarantees thereof) as may become due and payable without providing Plaintiffs a good faith opportunity to repay those loans.”
Justice Entities have about $368 million in outstanding loans with Carter Bank, which, according to the complaint, is the remaining debt from $775 million in loans in 2016 with $407 million of that paid down.
A more aggressive repayment schedule was initiated by Carter Bank, the action said, and one that could not reasonably be met.
Carter Bank had filed suit regarding $58 million in loans that, they said, were “personally guaranteed” by Gov. Jim Justice and his wife Cathy.
The Justice companies are a privately held group of mining, hospitality, and agriculture interests operating in West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, the Carolinas, and Alabama, including Bluestone Industries, Inc.; The Greenbrier; and Justice Farms of North Carolina, Inc. Since Bluestone’s founding by James C. Justice in 1971, the group has grown to include more than 100 companies employing more than 2500 men and women.
— Contact Charles Boothe at email@example.com