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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Coal industry pays lawyers, doctors to lie and let workers to die penniless

Today's post is shared from

Photo by Earl DotterIn a devastating must-read set of reports, the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News describe how coal companies have fought a cutthroat campaign of secrecy, misinformation, false diagnoses, and defiance of court orders to stop workers from getting workers’ compensation for black lung disease. The coal industry’s tactics mirror those of Big Tobacco, the lead and soda industries, the NFL, and pulp and paper giant Georgia-Pacific, which is conducting secret research and selectively withholding information to cast doubt on more than 60,000 legal claims filed by construction workers and others who Georgia-Pacific exposed to asbestos in the 1960s and ‘70s and are developing mesothelioma, a cancer nearly always caused by asbestos, today.
Black lung, a disease caused by inhaling coal dust over time, scars and shrinks the lungs and can be highly debilitating and deadly. In its severe form, black lung is supposed to automatically qualify miners for workers’ compensation. Yet in a series of three in-depth reports, the Center for Public Integrity reveals how the coal industry and its lawyers have fought tooth and nail to hide information on workers’ health from doctors, courts, and patients themselves in order to maintain doubt about people's’ eligibility for compensation.
ABC News interviewed Dr. Paul Wheeler, head of The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s black...
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