Jackson Kelly attorneys Bill Mattingly, Dorothea Clark and Kathy Snyder were also investigated by state Office of Disciplinary Counsel but were not sanctioned, according to the center's report. Mattingly and Snyder are listed in the firm's online directory.
Clark is not, but the West Virginia state bar website lists Jackson Kelly as her firm. The same site lists her status as "inactive."
Manchin and Smith joined Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and state Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, in commenting on the case.
Kessler, an attorney who clerked for the federal benefits review board that handles black lung cases, called the alleged actions "absolutely wrong." If proven true, he agreed there needs to be "serious repercussions" for the attorneys involved.
While Rockefeller did not specifically address the accusations against Jackson Kelly, he lamented the continuing struggle miners with legitimate cases of black lung can face when trying to receive benefits from coal companies.
Rockefeller has introduced a number of bills calling for a reduction in allowable levels of dust in mines and easing the administrative burden facing miners seeking claims. Manchin recently co-sponsored one of those bills: the Robert C. Byrd Mine and Workplace Safety and Health Act. Introduced this spring, it's the latest attempt from the senators to try and pass the measure.
Smith said it's time for the government to take action on policies that could protect miners from black lung.
"We know what causes Black Lung and we know how to prevent it," Smith said in the statement.
"That people are still getting black lung means that either the respirable dust standards are too low or the companies aren't abiding by those standards, or both. The government needs to finalize pending respirable dust rules and then enforce them."
Rockefeller and Kessler were the only two officials to send comments to the Daily Mail before the press deadline Tuesday.
House Speaker Tim Miley, D-Harrison, responded through a spokeswoman late Tuesday night. He said his first priority is to protect the state's miners, but he didn't think it was appropriate to specifically comment on the allegations in the report until lawsuits associated with the accusations are resolved.
The widow of a West Virginia coal miner is suing Jackson Kelly for allegedly hiding documents that could have shown her husband had black lung and helped get him benefits. Although an administrative judge ruled against Jackson Kelly, the law firm appealed the case.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit heard oral arguments in the case Tuesday.
Reps. Shelley Moore Capito and David McKinley, both R-W.Va., and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey declined comment. A spokeswoman for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin responded to a request for comment, but did not send any comment.
The final installment in the center's story is slated for online publication Friday. A link to the first two stories in the series is available at dailymail.com.