Our Firm has extensive experience in representing Defendant Employers in both state and federal black lung claims. This experience extends through the entire process of the claim including initial evaluation, assertion of defenses, development of causation proof, attendance at hearings and prosecution of appeals where necessary. The firm is adept at using qualified physicians with A and B reader certifications who can examine the Plaintiff or review records to determine if they are totally or partially disabled from coal workers’ pneumoconiosis. The Firm has also successfully defended black lung cases by proof that Plaintiff’s alleged disability were caused, not by working in the coal mines, but by years of smoking or natural conditions. We have routinely handled representations for Coal Companies on these types of claims.
There have been times at our Firm when we’ve handled a case load from 100 to 125 worker’s compensation claims as well as state and federal black lung matters. One of our attorneys has previously served as a state administrative law judge during the “heyday” of claims for retraining incentive benefits which required an award upon x-ray showing of Category I pneumoconiosis. This invaluable experience helps set us apart from other defense firms in terms of our experience and skillset in this area.
Our Firm is also adept at handling complex Black Lung issues that extend beyond the typical claim for benefits. For example, we have represented clients in situations involving whether our clients would be deemed “self-insured” and responsible for payment of benefit where its insurer has become insolvent. It is typically our contention that an employer satisfies his duties under the black lung statutes once coverage is purchased and any insolvency is borne by the United States Department of Labor Disability Trust Fund. Again, Black Lung is a very complex area of law and our Firm stands apart from other Kentucky Defense firms in our ability to provide you excellent representation.