STORY FROM: Occupational Exposure Litigation

6th Circuit Affirms ALJ’s Award of Black Lung Benefits to Former Blaster

CINCINNATI –– The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit has upheld an award of Black Lung benefits to a former blaster, finding that the claimant was entitled to a 15-year presumption of eligibility, despite the fact that he did not work in an underground mine.

In the June 15 opinion, the 6th Circuit further found that the claimant’s employer had failed to rebut the presumption.

The dispute arose out of a claim filed by Richard Kennard for black lung benefits. Kennard worked for more than 20 years as a blaster on strip mines and testified that he “couldn’t ...

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