Shortcut Navigation:

AFL-CIO Now

You Won't Believe that Doctors Are Denying This Exists

Photo by TV19 - DD Meighen/Flickr

You don't have to be a doctor at Johns Hopkins to know black lung disease when you see it. I know firsthand because I've seen it. I've seen it kill my father, my grandfathers and uncles. They were all coal miners who breathed coal dust for years until their scarred lungs could no longer work and they suffocated.

Now a yearlong investigation finds that even if you are a doctor at Johns Hopkins, you may not acknowledge black lung disease, even when it's right in front of your eyes. "Breathless and Burdened," a scathing report from the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News, lays bare for the public something miners and their families in the coal fields have known for decades. Coal companies, their lawyers and their hand-picked doctors will go to any length—ethical or not—to deny the small monthly benefits that stricken miners are due under the Black Lung Benefits Act.

I know full well that coal companies have been cheating miners since the day coal was hand loaded and weighed and of the cold corporate "code of ethics" they operate under. But even with my years of experience in the mines and as a union leader, I was sickened and angered by what I read. You will be, too, when you read how lawyers at Jackson Kelly PLLC, the go-to law firm for coal companies fighting miners' black lung claims, have routinely withheld medical evidence.

This is an excerpt of Black Lung Deniers, which originally appeared on The Huffington Post. Read the rest

The email address provided does not appear to be valid. Please check the address entered and try again.
>>
Thank you for signing up to receive our blog alerts. You will receive your first email shortly.
Tagged under:
black lung
coal
coal dust
coal miners
health
mine
MSHA
UMWA

Related Stories

Online Community

Connect With Us

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Flickr

Get Email from AFL-CIO

Are you a union member?

GET TEXT FROM AFL-CIO

*Message and data rates may apply.

Facebook Favorites

Blogs

Join Us Online