Settlements Reported in West Virginia Mine Blast That Killed 29

January 11, 2012

Coal company Alpha Natural Resources has reached settlements with all the families of the miners killed in the worst U.S. mining disaster in four decades, a lawyer for two of the families said on Wednesday.

Mark Moreland told Reuters the company settled seven wrongful death cases on Sunday and 13 more on Tuesday. He declined to give details of the settlements, which must be approved by a West Virginia court before payments are made.

Twenty-nine miners died in the April 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia. The mine’s then-owner, Massey Energy, settled with 10 families soon after.

Alpha Natural Resources, which acquired Massey last year, settled with the remaining 19 families and also one of the survivors, Moreland said.

The company did not immediately confirm or comment on the settlements.

In December, Alpha agreed to pay $1.5 million to each of the families of the 29 men killed as part of a $209 million settlement of civil and criminal charges stemming from the accident.

(Reporting By Steve James; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

 

 

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