Alpha, W.Va. families settle wrongful death cases

By VICKI SMITH | January 10, 2012 | 4:30 PM EST

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — A lawyer for the estates of two Upper Big Branch miners says Alpha Natural Resources has settled wrongful death lawsuits with the families of all 29 victims of West Virginia's 2010 disaster.

Virginia-based Alpha didn't immediately confirm or comment on the settlements Tuesday.

Attorney Mark Moreland says the final deals were cut after a marathon mediation session in Daniels. He says Alpha also settled lawsuits with at least seven miners hurt in the blast.

Moreland won't disclose the terms, which will require court approval.

He says money is some compensation, but the losses in the nation's worst mining disaster in four decades can never be fully compensated. He says criminal prosecutions of mine managers would give families more closure.

Alpha inherited the lawsuits when it bought Massey Energy last summer.