Federal Black Lung

Cases of Note

  • Presented oral argument before the 11 th Circuit Court of Appeals on a novel and complex legal issue dealing with statutory interpretation of the automatic entitlement provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which altered the burden on survivor’s claims under the Federal
    Black Lung Benefits Act.
  • Successfully argued before the Alabama Supreme Court in a case involving the plaintiff’s attempt to re-litigate, in sate court, its designation as the part responsible for payment of federal black lung benefits. Following oral argument, the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s order dismissing our client from the case.
  • Obtained a reversal by the Benefits Review Board of an Administrative Law Judge’s Decision and Order Awarding Benefits by successfully showing that the Judge failed to consider a relevant pulmonary function study in awarding benefits.
  • Prevailed in a claim for Black Lung Benefits by successfully rebutting the presumption of pneumoconiosis established based on a totally disabling pulmonary impairment and 15 years of coal mine employment. Demonstrated that the Claimant’s impairment was not due to coal mine dust but was rather due to congestive heart failure coupled with obesity and weakness or paralysis of the right diaphragm.
  • Prevailed in a claim for survivor’s benefits pursuant to the Black Lung Benefits Act by successfully rebutting the presumption the miner’s death was due to pneumoconiosis and instead demonstrating the miner’s death was due to lung cancer.
  • Successfully refuted the identification of our client as a Responsible Operator by showing the Department of Labor that they incorrectly determined the claimant did not work more than one year in subsequent coal mine employment.