The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered its officials who determine if coal miners are eligible for black lung benefits to no longer rely on the medical opinion of the Johns Hopkins doctor, ABC News reports, “whose work for coal companies helped lead to benefits being denied to thousands of miners over the last two decades.”
In fighting claims of black lung disease and the disability benefits that sick and dying coal miners are due when they are diagnosed with the crippling and fatal disease, coal companies employ “cutthroat” law firms and a select group of physicians—including a unit at the nation’s top-ranked hospital, according to a new investigative report by the Center for Public Integrity in partnership with ABC News.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka—a third-generation coal miner—will discuss the report tonight on ABC “World News with Diane Sawyer” at 6:30 p.m. in most markets and later on “Nightline” at 12:35 a.m. Thursday. Check your local listings.
Check out the heartbreaking story of some of the many workplace deaths where companies are found liable and penalties are issued but never collected as corporations game the bankruptcy system, lawyers aggressively fight and, sometimes, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fails to follow through. Peg Seminario, director of safety and health at the AFL-CIO, is quoted in the article.