November 09, 2020

4th Circ. Says 'Unfair' Va. Law Forces It To Nix Black Lung Suit

By Sarah Jarvis, Law360, November 9, 2020

Law360 (November 9, 2020, 6:04 PM EST) -- Holding that the court was bound to interpret Virginia's statute of limitations "as it is, not as we would like it to be," the Fourth Circuit has affirmed a lower court's decision to toss a lung disease-stricken coal miner's claims against respirator companies accused of selling poor-quality breathing equipment.

Judge Henry F. Floyd, writing for the panel in Friday's published opinion, said that even though Gary Adams was diagnosed in 2014 with coal workers' pneumoconiosis, or black lung, his 2016 suit against American Optical Corp. and Mine Safety Appliances Co. fell outside Virginia's two-year statute of limitations for personal injury suits because he first developed the disease earlier.

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