November 30, 2017 / 11:02 PM / a year ago

Coal miner’s 1974 stint counts towards black lung benefits claim

A federal appeals court held on Thursday that 1977 amendments that expanded the Black Lung Benefits Act applied to a construction company where a coal miner worked for brief stints in 1974 and 2005, allowing him to reach the one-year minimum to qualify for benefits.

In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Frontier-Kemper Constructors’ claim that the 1977 amendments had been improperly applied retroactively to require it to pay benefits to Grat Smith, a Virginia coal miner and construction worker.

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