The judges say plaintiffs can't use words like "poison" or "toxic soup" in openings but can use them in closing arguments. And they delayed ruling on Massey's request that other topics be excluded, including problems it has had with coal slurry at other subsidiaries and litigation with the Environmental Protection Agency.
Some 700 people accuse Massey and Rawl Sales & Processing Co. of poisoning their wells with slurry. Jury selection is set to begin Aug. 1 in Wheeling.
The judges will allow medical bills and other evidence of illness as they try seven cases involving nine wells and 17 residents.