Favorable decision in Federal Black Lung case.
We won a favorable decision from an Administrative Law Judge on a Federal Black Lung claim. The judge credited the claimant with 11 years of qualifying coal mining employment, but found that the claimant had failed to prove a totally disabling respiratory impairment and, therefore, denied the claim. We presented evidence from our medical expert that the claimant did not contract coal workers’ pneumoconiosis as the result of his work in the coal mines, and that he was not disabled by a respiratory impairment. The judge addressed the issue of total respiratory disability first and found the claimant failed to meet the burden of proof with a pulmonary function study, an arterial blood gas study, and medical opinion evidence. The judge credited the opinions of our medical expert over those of both of the claimant’s expert and the independent expert retained by the Department of Labor. The judge found no respiratory disability and, therefore, denied the claim.