Consolidation Coal Co. v. Director, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs etc.

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Black Lung Disease
Case Number: 
No. 11-3637
Decision Date: 
June 27, 2013
Federal District: 
Petition for Review, Order of Benefits Review Bd., U.S. Dept. of Labor
In application for Black Lung benefits arising out of claimant-coal miner’s lung disease, ALJ did not err in applying “15-year presumption” to grant claimant’s application even though claimant’s prior applications seeking said benefits had been denied. Claimant was required to show change in conditions to support instant application, and instant change in law, which allowed ALJ to apply said presumption, qualified as “change in condition” that could support instant application where said presumption was unavailable in claimant’s prior applications. Moreover, record supported ALJ’s finding that claimant satisfied requirements for said presumption where claimant worked in dusty conditions that were similar to conditions in underground mine, and where medical evidence supported finding that claimant was totally disabled.