North American Coal Corp. v. Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, U.S. Dept. of Labor

Citation854 F.2d 386
Decision Date18 August 1988
Docket NumberNo. 86-2424,86-2424
PartiesNORTH AMERICAN COAL CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION PROGRAMS, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, and Rochino Ariotti, Respondents.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Tenth Circuit

Page 386

854 F.2d 386
NORTH AMERICAN COAL CORPORATION, Petitioner,
v.
DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION PROGRAMS, UNITED
STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, and Rochino Ariotti,
Respondents.
No. 86-2424.
United States Court of Appeals,
Tenth Circuit.
Aug. 18, 1988.

Page 387

David J. Millstone (David J. Somrak and Donald A. Wall, of counsel, with him on the briefs), of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, Cleveland, Ohio, for petitioner.

Sylvia T. Kaser (George R. Salem, Solicitor of Labor, Donald S. Shire, Associate Sol., J. Michael O'Neill, Counsel for Appellate Litigation; Thomas L. Holzman, Asst. Counsel for Appellate Litigation, with her on the brief), U.S. Dept. of Labor, for respondents.

Before MOORE, ANDERSON and BRORBY, Circuit Judges.

BRORBY, Circuit Judge.

North American Coal Corporation (North American) petitions this court for review of a decision of the Benefits Review Board filed July 31, 1986. The Benefits Review Board affirmed a decision of the Administrative Law Judge awarding medical benefits to the respondent, Rochino Ariotti, under part C of the Black Lung Act, 30 U.S.C. Secs. 901-945.

In 1971, Mr. Ariotti was awarded disability benefits under part B of the Act by the Social Security Administration. These benefits are not an issue. The parties have stipulated that Mr. Ariotti has complicated coal workers pneumoconiosis which arose out of his coal mine employment.

The Black Lung Benefits Reform Act of 1977 provided that claimants who had previously been allowed disability benefit under part B could now file an application for and also receive medical benefits under part C. The Act directed that all recipients of disability benefits under part B be notified of this opportunity and be given no less than six months after notification to file their claims for medical benefits under part C, 30 U.S.C. Sec. 924a.

On April 25, 1978, the Secretary of Labor published a proposed rule permitting eligible miners (part B beneficiaries) to file claims for medical benefits under part C within six months from mailing "unless the period was extended for good cause shown." On May 3 and 4, 1978, the Department of Labor sent the requisite notifications.

On August 15, 1978, the final rules were published in the Federal Register. Both the proposed rule and the final rule provided for a "cut-off" date of six months from notification in which to file a claim for part C benefits. During the initial six month period following notification, while it was receiving comments on the proposed rules, the Department of Labor learned that many thousands of eligible miners were not filing for medical benefits because they mistakenly believed that an adverse decision with respect to medical benefits might also result in a termination of their monthly disability benefits under part B.

Consequently, on October 27, 1978, approximately one week prior to the expiration date as specified in the proposed and final rules, the Secretary of Labor promulgated an amended rule which extended the filing deadline from November 3-4, 1978, to June 30, 1979. This amended rule was published in the Federal Register and was published without notice and without an opportunity for public comment. 43 Fed.Reg. 50171 (1978). The amended rule was made effective as of the date of publication. Included with the amended rule in the publication was the following supplemental information:

The Department ... notified all part B miner-beneficiaries of their right to file claims for part C medical benefits on May 3 and 4, 1978. The Department of Labor has been advised that many part B miner-beneficiaries have failed to file claims ... because they believe that an adverse decision on their claim...

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  • U.S. v. Gould, 08-4302.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • June 18, 2009
    ...agency is not valid unless adopted in substantial compliance with the requirements of the APA." N. Am. Coal Corp. v. Dir. Office of Workers' Comp. Programs, 854 F.2d 386, 388 (10th Cir.1988). As the Ninth Circuit thoughtfully explained, must exercise great caution in applying the harmless e......
  • Mid Continent Nail Corp. v. United States, 2016-1426
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • January 27, 2017
    ...645 F.2d 1309, 1321 (8th Cir. 1981) ; Alcaraz v. Block, 746 F.2d 593, 612 (9th Cir. 1984) ; N. Am. Coal Corp. v. Dep't of Labor, 854 F.2d 386, 388 (10th Cir. 1988) ; United States v. Dean, 604 F.3d 1275, 1279 (11th Cir. 2010) ; Utility Solid Waste Activities Grp. v. EPA, 236 F.3d 749, 754 (......
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    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • January 27, 2017
    ...645 F.2d 1309, 1321 (8th Cir. 1981); Alcaraz v. Block, 746 F.2d 593, 612 (9th Cir. 1984); N. Am. Coal Corp. v. Dep't of Labor, 854 F.2d 386, 388 (10th Cir. 1988); United States v. Dean, 604 F.3d 1275, 1279 (11th Cir. 2010); Utility Solid Waste Activities Grp. v. EPA, 236 F.3d 749, 754 (D.C.......
  • Mangus v. Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, U.S. Dept. of Labor
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • August 17, 1989
    ...disability is a question of law, Carozza, 727 F.2d at 76-78, which we review de novo. North Am. Coal Corp. v. Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, 854 F.2d 386, 388 (10th Cir.1988). In determining the appropriate standard, we look first to Congressional intent. In large part,......
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