United States Fourth Circuit

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West Virginia CWP Fund v. Bender, 12-2034

Petitioner coal mine operator seeks review of a decision of the Benefits Review Board affirming an administrative law judge's (ALJ) award of benefits to respondent coal miner under the Black Lung Benefits Act. After considering the medical evidence, the ALJ concluded that the operator had not rebutted the presumption of total disability due to pneumoconiosis (black lung disease) by "ruling out" any causal relationship between the miner's pneumoconiosis and his disability, and the ALJ thus awarded black lung benefits to the miner. The Benefits Review Board affirmed the ALJ's decision. Petition for review is denied and the award of benefits is affirmed, where: 1) the Department of Labor acted within its regulatory authority in requiring coal mine operators to show, in the case of miners who meet the statutory criteria for the presumption, that "no part of the miner's respiratory or pulmonary total disability was caused by pneumoconiosis"; and 2) the ALJ's decision is supported by substantial evidence.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 04/02/2015
  • Published 04/02/2015

Judges

  • Keenan

Court

  • United States Fourth Circuit

Counsel

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