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TELEPHONE: 303-844-5266 / FAX: 303-844-5268


March 27, 2017






VERIS GOLD USA, INC., and its Successors,






Docket No. WEST 2015-909-M






Mine: Jerritt Canyon Mill

Mine ID: 26-01621




            This case is before me upon a petition for assessment of Civil Penalty pursuant to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act, 30 U.S.C. §§ 801 et seq. and 29 C.F.R. § 2700.28. Daniel Lowe and Matthew Varady (“Complainants”) filed discrimination complaints against Veris Gold (“Veris”) pursuant to section 105(c) (3). In an order dated September 2, 2015, the presiding ALJ found Veris Gold liable for discrimination against Varady. The ALJ noted that Veris had previously filed a petition for Bankruptcy, but nonetheless instructed the Secretary to assess a civil penalty against Veris. The Secretary filed its position on September 11, 2015. The presiding ALJ then issued a decision on October 15, 2015, finding Veris Gold liable for discrimination against Lowe and instructed the Secretary to assess a civil penalty in that docket as well. On December 23, 2015, however, the Secretary withdrew the petition for civil penalty in Varady’s case and filed a Motion to Dismiss the Dockets.[1]


            On March 20, 2017, this court entered an Order granting JCG’s motion to dismiss the Complainants’ successorship claims and denied the Complainants’ motion to add other affiliates of Veris as successors. The court explained that although the Complainants established their claims against Veris Gold, the Sale and Enforcement Orders issued by the Bankruptcy Court foreclosed their pursuit of successorship liability against Jerritt Canyon Gold, LLC, (“JCG”) the purchaser of certain Veris Gold assets, and its other affiliates. The Order also instructed the Complainants that, should they wish to enter a claim against Veris Gold, they were to resubmit their claims for personal relief. On March 21, 2017, the Complainants informed the court via email that they did not wish to obtain orders against Veris because the company had been liquidated and no longer had assets to pay their claims. Pursuant to the terms of that Order, this court dismissed the cases in a separate order dated today.


            In light of the March 20, 2017 Order, the Secretary’s pursuit of a civil penalty against Veris is also futile. Veris Gold has been liquidated and no longer possesses assets to pay off its creditors, and the Bankruptcy Court’s Sale Order expressly prohibits pursuit of successorship liability claims.


            Accordingly, the Secretary’s Motion for dismissal in the Varady case is hereby GRANTED and applied to the Lowe case as well. IT IS ORDERED that this penalty docket be DISMISSED.





                                                                                                   /s/ David P. Simonton

                                                                                                   David P. Simonton

                                                                                                   Administrative Law Judge




Distribution: (U.S. First Class Mail)


Cathy L. Reece, Fennemore Craig, P.C., 239 East Camelback Rd., Suite 600, Phoenix, AZ 85016


Mark Kaster, Dorsey & Whitney, 1500 South 6th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402


Annette Jarvis, Dorsey & Whitney, 136 South Main Street, Suite 1000, Salt Lake City, UT 54101


Eric Sprott, 200 Bay Street Suite 2700, P.O. Box 27, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5J 2J1


Matthew A. Varady, 701 South 5th Street, #6, Elko, NV 89801


Daniel Lowe, P.O. Box 2608, Elko, NV 89803


Shaun Heinrichs, Veris Gold, 688 West Hastings Street, Suite 900, Vancouver, BC V6B 1P1, Canada


Tevia Jeffries, Dentons Canada LLP, 250 Howe Street, 20th Fl., Vancouver, BC V6C 3R8, Canada


Brad J. Mantel, Office of the Solicitor, U.S. Department of Labor, 201 12th Street South, Suite 401, Arlington, VA 22202


Benjamin R. Botts, Office of the Solicitor, U.S. Department of Labor, 90 7th Street, Suite 3-700, San Francisco, CA 94103


W. Christian Schumann, Office of the Solicitor, U.S. Department of Labor, 201 12th Street South, Suite 401, Arlington, VA 22202


Bruce L. Brown, Office of the Solicitor, U.S. Department of Labor, MSHA, 300 Fifth Ave, Suite 1120, Seattle, WA 98104

[1] Both Varady and Lowe are in the same position regarding the bankruptcy issue in that findings of discrimination were made after the bankruptcy sale order had been issued. Therefore, my order dismissing any penalty docket or a potential for one shall apply to Lowe’s case. Specifically, I find the Secretary’s motion to dismiss the Varady case applicable to the Lowe docket as well.