Practice Areas

Federal Black Lung


The stakes are high in federal black lung litigation since benefits are only paid when an individual is totally disabled or has died as a result of black lung. Since the potential financial impact of paying lifetime benefits to the miner or his widow can be significant, a coal mine needs an experienced attorney with specific knowledge of the Black Lung Benefits Act.

LGWM’s Federal Black Lung Group includes experienced attorneys who understand the issues and complexities unique to federal black lung litigation. We defend clients in cases before the United States Department of Labor from the initial administrative stages that occur at the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, to the trial stage before the Office of Administrative Law Judges and appeals with the Benefit Review Board and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Our firm has extensive experience representing coal mine operators and their insurers in matters involving identification of proper responsible operators, successor liability, length of coal mine employment, diagnosis of black lung, assessment of respiratory disability, identification of non-compensable disabling conditions, ability to perform usual coal mine employment or comparable employment, determination of dependency and material changes in medical condition. We also provide counsel to claims analysts and advise them on the interaction between the Black Lung Benefits Act and the Alabama Workers Compensation Act. Our experience has equipped us to respond quickly to client needs and provide cost-effective solutions to a wide range of issues that arise in federal black lung litigation.