BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) - A judge has dismissed a lawsuit by relatives of three men 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 Associated Press says the case was dismissed with prejudice, meaning it cannot be refiled.
The lawsuit said at least eight other families were also awaiting payment. It asked Berger to enforce the terms of the landmark $210 million agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice so Virginia-based Alpha compensated everyone.
Alpha has long said that it fully complied with the terms of the settlement, including payments to various victims' families.
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