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Upper Big Branch Disaster Wrongful Death Suits Settled

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The last of the wrongful death claims filed after the Big Branch Mine disaster in West Virginia have been settled. Alpha Natural Resources acquired liability for the disaster after purchasing Massey Energy last year, and had previously settled with 16 of the families of miners who died in the April 5, 2010 explosion that killed 29.

Tuesday, the remaining 13 families accepted a settlement offered by the mining company after four days of closed-door mediation. Details of the settlement have not been disclosed due to confidentiality agreements.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin is continuing a criminal investigation into who may have committed crimes connected to the disaster. Since the start of the investigation miner Thomas Harrah plead guilty and was sentenced to 10 months in jail for performing mine safety examinations with a fake foreman’s license. Security Chief Hughie Elbert Stover has been convicted of attempting to destroy evidence regarding Massy policies and lying to investigators. He is currently awaiting sentencing.

After nearly two years of investigations, MSHA found that Massey’s “unwarrantable failure” to follow federal rules regarding roof control, mine ventilation, and cleanup of highly explosive coal dust caused the disaster. disclaimer: This article: Upper Big Branch Disaster Wrongful Death Suits Settled was posted on Thursday, January 12th, 2012 at 8:01 pm at and is filed under Accident Lawsuits.

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