11/8/2013 9:55 AM
by Nadine Grimley
BECKLEY - A judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by relatives of three men who were killed in the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster who claimed Alpha Natural Resources failed to pay them each $1.5 million as promised under a settlement with the federal government.
U.S. District Judge Irene Berger entered her order last week in Beckley, but sealed the opinion explaining her rationale. The case was dismissed with prejudice, meaning it cannot be refiled.
The lawsuit said at least eight other families were also waiting for payments. It asked Berger to enforce the terms of the landmark $210 million agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice so Alpha compensated everyone.
The company has said it fully complied with the terms of the settlement, including payments to various victims' families.