MORGANTOWN — The New York Times argues a lawsuit alleging defamation should be dismissed after a local mining company failed to show that the statements were false.

This month, the Times filed a motion to dismiss a federal suit filed by five subsidiaries of Murray Energy.

According to the filing: In April, an “article” headlined, “Money Talked Loudest at Donald Trump’s Inaugural” contained defamatory statements. The article is an editorial.

The editorial states that “Mr. [Robert] Murray falsely insisted that the 2007 collapse of his Crandall Canyon mine (Utah), which killed six workers, was due to an earthquake,” according to the suit.

The suit states that the statement is false “because the triggering event of the collapse was what is commonly understood as an earthquake.” The filing contends that because the public equates each of the five mining operations with Murray, the false statements that he lied hurt the reputation of the business.

The editorial also states that “Murray Energy is a serial violator of health and safety rules,” according to the lawsuit.

Murray Energy argues that this falsely implies that it was found guilty of a significant number of violations or repeat violations outside the norms of regulatory compliance.

In its motion, the Times argues that the suit fails to show how the statements were false and they do not meet the standard of actual malice.

The Times argues that Murray and the company are public figures. That requires Murray to prove not only the statements false, but that the Times editorial board intentionally chose to avoid the truth.