DC Circuit nixes quarry’s attorneys’ fee request

A regulatory agency’s decision to withdraw seven health and safety citations against a sand-and-gravel mining operation does not entitle the company to attorneys’ fees as a “prevailing party,” a federal appeals court held Tuesday, reports Reuters.

The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit affirmed an administrative law judge’s ruling against Texas-based Cactus Canyon Quarries, which sought more than $11,000 in attorneys’ fees after the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration dropped the seven violation notices worth $100 each.

MSHA withdrew the notices after Cactus Canyon demanded a hearing because the inspector who had issued them during a routine inspection in 2013 had left the agency and could not be found.

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