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Judge Rules to Allow Black Lung Lawsuit Against the Law Firm of Jackson Kelly to Proceed

Submitted by on Mon, 08/09/14 - 03:16

The Honorable Judge Kirkpatrick of Raleigh County ruled to allow three lawsuits filed by the families of miners who were denied black lung benefits, and later died from the disease, to proceed.   Read the article here.

 Plaintiffs, represented by Allan N. Karlin & Associates, contend, in part, that the Jackson Kelly black lung unit committed common law fraud by engaging in a pattern and practice of fraudulent behavior intended to defeat disabled coal miners' claims for benefits under the Black Lung Benefit Act.  The court pointed out that if plaintiffs' contentions are proven, the conduct could constitute common law fraud in addition to "a wrong against an institution set up to protect and safeguard the public."  In determining that Jackson Kelly's arguments for dismissal of the lawsuit "have no merit," the court found that "[f]ollowing the logic of Jackson Kelly's argument through to its inevitable conclusion would permit attorneys to engage in deceitful, and indeed reprehensible, conduct as a matter of course, just as long as such activity is calculated to fall short of outright bribery, jury tampering, or other criminal acts deemed sufficiently egregious."   Read the opinion here.