KY State Black Lung Liable Employer:
KRS 342.316(10(a): The employer liable for compensation for occupational disease shall be the employer in whose employment the employee was last exposed to the hazard of the occupational disease. KY law is different from a Federal Black lung claim in that the duration of employment is irrelevant. One day of employment is sufficient to meet the standard under KY law.
KY State Black Lung Statute of Limitations:
KRS 342.316(4)(a): A claim must be filed within 3 years after the last injurious exposure or after the employee first experiences symptoms or diagnosis sufficient to trigger notice requirements. The right to compensation shall be forever barred unless a claim is filed within 5 years from the last injurious exposure.
KY State Black Lung Notice:
KRS 342.316(2): Notice of a claim shall be given to the employer as soon as practicable after the employee first experiences a distinct manifestation of an occupational disease in the form of symptoms reasonably sufficient to apprise him that he has contracted the disease, or a diagnosis of the disease is first communicated to him, whichever shall first occur.
KY State Black Lung Exposure Requirements:
KRS 342.316(4)(b): Income benefits for the disease of pneumoconiosis resulting from exposure to coal dust or death there from shall not be payable unless the employee has been exposed to the hazards of such pneumoconiosis in the Commonwealth of Kentucky over a continuous period of not less than two (2) years during the ten (10) years immediately preceding the date of his or her last exposure to such hazard, or for any five (5) of the fifteen (15) years immediately preceding the date of such last exposure.
KY State Black Lung Medical Terms in Establishing Pulmonary Impairment:
Pulmonary function tests are a group of tests that measure how well the lungs take in and release air and how well they move gases such as oxygen from the atmosphere into the body’s circulation.
Spirometric Testing: This testing measures the amount of air entering and leaving the lungs.
FEV-1: Forced Expiratory Volume in one second
FVC: Forced Vital Capacity is the maximum volume of air, which can be exhaled after one breath.
Arterial Blood Gases: An arterial blood gas (ABG) test measures the acidity (ph) and the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood from an artery. This test is used to check how well your lungs are able to move oxygen into the blood and remove carbon dioxide from the blood.
Prior KY State Black Lung Claims:
KRS 342.316(12): A concluded claim for benefits by reason of contraction of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis in the severance or processing of coal shall bar any subsequent claim for benefits by reason of contraction of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, unless there has occurred in the interim between the conclusion of the first claim and the filing of the second claim at least two (2) years of employment wherein the employee was continuously exposed to the hazards of the disease in the Commonwealth.
VISION MINING INC. v. GARDNER
In the case of Vision Mining Inc. v. Gardner, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that the system of three medical screenings for coal miners violated the equal protection provision of the Kentucky Constitution. Only coal miners claiming workers’ compensation are required to see a panel of three doctors to prove they have pneumoconiosis. All other workers claiming workers’ compensation are required to have only one doctor confirm they have an occupational disease or injury. In addition, workers who develop pneumoconiosis from other industries only require one doctor to confirm their disease in order to proceed with a claim.
Due to the ruling in Vision Mining Inc. v. Gardner, the Kentucky state legislator will be required to change the statute in regards to the process of submitting medical evidence in Kentucky State Black Lung claims. At the moment, the majority of Kentucky State Black lung claims have been placed in abeyance, until the state legislature amends the Kentucky Statute.
Snyder Law Office, PLLC can assist you with litigating Kentucky State Black Lung Claims:
Snyder Law Office, PLLC has litigated several Kentucky State Black Lung claims including facilitation through the initial process, representation of hearings in front of an Administrative Law Judge, and appeals to the highest court.
Felicia Snyder can be contacted at 859-388-0970 or firstname.lastname@example.org to assist you in representation of your Kentucky State Black Lung claim.