Dalton v. Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, U.S. Dept. of Labor

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Black Lung Disease
Case Number: 
No. 13-1243
Decision Date: 
December 20, 2013
Federal District: 
Petition for Review, Order of Benefits Review Bd.
Petition granted
Record supported ALJ’s finding that August 1991 was onset date of claimant’s claim of total disability on account of his pneumoconiosis. While Bd. found that benefits should have begun in June of 1999, when claimant filed his application, because there was no medical opinion evidence that reflected date upon which claimant had become totally disabled on account of pneumoconiosis, Ct. of Appeals found that onset of disease was August of 1991, where claimant stopped working due to breathing problems at that time, and where claimant’s 1991 pulmonary function tests qualified him for finding of total disability under applicable regulations. Moreover, defendant-employer failed to present any evidence indicating that claimant’s lung disease in 1991 was caused by something other than combination of coal dust and smoking.