West Virginia Coal Mine Settles for $210M in Disaster
Agreement allows for individual criminal prosecutions
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 6, 2011 9:56 AM CST
Community members gather at New Life Assembly Church in Whitesville, W.Va., near Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch Coal Mine in Montcoal, W.Va. after an explosion rocked the remote coal mine.   (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner, File)

(Newser) – The owner of a West Virginia coal mine where an explosion killed 29 men will pay nearly $210 million in a historic settlement arising from the worst US coal mining disaster in decades. An attorney with knowledge of the Upper Big Branch settlement provided details to the AP. The agreement includes more than $46 million in criminal restitution to the miners' families. It also allows for individual criminal prosecutions.

Massey Energy owned the mine at the time of the April 2010 disaster. Alpha Natural Resources has since acquired Massey. The settlement includes $35 million in penalties for all Massey mine violations, including $11 million for Upper Big Branch.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 2 of 3 comments
Dec 6, 2011 2:48 PM CST
We need to stop worrying so much about penalties and fines, and concentrate more on criminal prosecution. The ol' saying "Hit 'em where it hurts", no longer applies as we couldn't possibly extract enough money out of these large corporations for it not to be just part of doing business. The supervisors should go to prison. The entire board should go to prison, the VPs and the CEO should go to prison. Hell, the accountant that suggested the shortcuts that lead to these people's deaths, should be flogged in the town-square. You want to hit 'em where it hurts? Start taking portions of their lives in addition to the existing penalties and fines.
Dec 6, 2011 11:47 AM CST
Thats not nearly enough of a penalty fine.