Scotus: Coal Miners The Supreme Court today declared a 1992 law concerning coal industry responsibility for health benefits to be unconstitutional. The law would have forced companies formerly active in the coal industry to pay lifetime health care for retired miners and their dependents. The justices ruled in favor of a Massachusetts-based company that had left the coal mining business years before federal law made it responsible for benefits for about 15-hundred people. The company had argued that the law wrongly took the firm's private property for a public purpose. NPR's Chitra Ragavan reports.