Westmoreland Coal Co. v. Stallard, No. 16-1460 (4th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
The Fourth Circuit affirmed the denial of Westmoreland's petition for review of the Board's final decision and order granting federal disability benefits to plaintiff, a retired coal miner, under the Black Lung Benefits Act, 30 U.SC. 901 et seq. The court held that substantial evidence supported the ALJ's decision and order to award plaintiff benefits and the decision otherwise accords with applicable law. In this case, plaintiff timely brought his claim; given the array of evidence presented, substantial evidence supported the ALJ's calculation of plaintiff's smoking history; the ALJ did not err in rejecting Dr. Rosenberg's opinion regarding the ability to show particularized causation; and the ALJ did not reversibly err in concluding that Westmoreland failed to carry its "strict" and "substantial" burden to completely rule out coal dust exposure as a cause of plaintiff's disability.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on December 21, 2017.