I wanted to make sure Coal Tattoo readers saw the story we published in today’s Gazette, about growing complaints about whether Jackson Kelly — one of the coal industry’s main law firms — is covering up evidence that coal miners have deadly black lung disease.
The cases allege instances where unidentified Jackson Kelly lawyers gave judges or the law firm’s own experts only portions of the medical test results, withholding other evidence that proved miners had black lung.
In some instances, Jackson Kelly attorneys allegedly withheld proof of black lung from miners who did not have lawyers helping with their benefits cases. But once those miners obtained lawyers, and those lawyers sought complete copies of the medical evidence, Jackson Kelly tried to settle the cases and avoid revealing the fraudulent actions, the lawsuits allege.
Updated: A copy of Smoot’s response to the misconduct charges is posted here.Â Jackson Kelly has not yet filed a formal response to either of the lawsuits.