Coal industry's go-to law firm withheld evidence of black lung, at expense of sick miners

By Chris Hamby

In part 1 of a series, the Center details how a major law firm withheld evidence of black lung, helping defeat miners' claims for benefits.

Johns Hopkins medical unit rarely finds black lung, helping coal industry defeat miners' claims

By Chris Hamby, Brian Ross and Matthew Mosk

A surprising force has helped industry defeat black lung benefits claims for ailing miners: Johns Hopkins University.

As experts recognize new form of black lung, coal industry follows familiar pattern of denial

By Chris Hamby

A newly recognized form of lung disease is emerging among miners — prompting the coal industry's latest pushback against benefit claims.

Labor Department issues warning about Hopkins doctor's findings on black lung claims

The U.S. Department of Labor warned its officials to view with skepticism any X-ray readings by Dr. Paul Wheeler of Johns Hopkins.

U.S. announces sweeping reforms to protect coal miners from black lung disease

By Chris Hamby

Surrounded by coal miners, U.S. Labor officials announce reforms including a new rule limiting the disease-causing dust allowed in mines.

Read 'Breathless and Burdened' via e-book

Read the 'Breathless and Burdened' series on your mobile device.

GAO report again finds black lung proposal supported by science

By Chris Hamby

A new government study supports reducing the dust limit workers encounter in mines; the industry is pushing back against stronger rules.

White House seeks to chip away at severe Labor Department judge shortage, case backlog

By Jim Morris

The White House is requesting an additional $2 million from Congress for its overworked, understaffed Office of Administrative Law Judges.

Breathless and Burdened wins business investigative reporting honor

By The Center for Public Integrity

Breathless and Burdened, a Center series exposing how the coal industry beats back miners' claims for benefits, is honored for reporting.

Labor Department unveils changes to aid miners in black lung benefits cases

By Chris Hamby

Following the series Breathless and Burdened, U.S. officials unveil a series of initiatives to create a level playing field for coal miners.

Federal appeals court sides with law firm in black lung case, but finds actions 'hardly admirable'

By Chris Hamby

Coal law firm's withholding of evidence not "fraud on the court," appeals court rules, shifting long-standing battle to West Virginia.

Rising caseload, fewer Labor Department judges triggers painful mix for suffering laborers

By Jim Morris

A federal worker compensation program once viewed as a model now suffers rising caseloads — but fewer judges, triggering frustration.

Dwindling number of judges burdens workers

By Jim Morris

The number of judges overseeing a federal worker compensation program has fallen, even as worker caseloads rise.

Congressmen call for federal investigation of black lung benefits program, citing Center-ABC reports

By Chris Hamby, Brian Ross and Matthew Mosk

IMPACT: Two congressmen called on the Labor Department's IG to investigate whether miners have been wrongfully denied benefits.

Senators push reform of black lung program that 'failed' sick miners

By Chris Hamby, Brian Ross and Matthew Mosk

IMPACT: Citing a Center-ABC investigation, U.S. senators are leading an effort to reform the nation's black lung benefits system.

Johns Hopkins suspends black lung program after Center-ABC investigation

By Chris Hamby, Brian Ross and Matthew Mosk

IMPACT: Following a Center-ABC investigation, Johns Hopkins announced Friday it was suspending its black lung program, pending a review.

A 19-year fight for benefits

By Chris Hamby and Chris Zubak-Skees

Ted Latusek's course through the legal maze of the black lung benefits system.

A century of denial on black lung

By Chris Hamby

A congressman's words 44 years ago, citing the coal industry's efforts to limit its liability for black lung, resonate anew.

Inside a coal company exam

By Chris Hamby

Gathered in a hospital in southwestern Virginia, miners wait their turn for a black lung exam by a doctor chosen by the coal company.

ABC News investigation: black lung and doctors for the coal companies

"It's a total, national disgrace," says W.Va. Sen. Jay Rockefeller

Consulting fees in black lung cases flow directly to Johns Hopkins

By Chris Hamby

Doctors from Johns Hopkins University charge a premium for X-ray readings.

Key findings:

Coal industry's go-to firm has decades-long record of withholding evidence in black lung benefits cases.

About 'Breathless and Burdened'

By Ronnie Greene

The team behind the 'Breathless and Burdened' investigation

Withheld evidence

By Chris Hamby and Chris Zubak-Skees

Reports hidden in black lung cases.

Appeals court to weigh law firm strategy in black lung cases

By Chris Hamby

Today, an appeals court will hear arguments in a case with potential implications for how law firms handle evidence in black lung cases.

Behind the story: 'Breathless and Burdened'

By Chris Hamby

Reporter Chris Hamby details his yearlong look at miners suffering from black lung disease, and their struggle for benefits.

'Breathless and Burdened' will examine coal industry's efforts to defeat black lung benefits claims

By Chris Hamby

Our yearlong investigative project examining how coal companies defeat sick miners' black lung benefits claims begins tomorrow.

Writers and editors

Jim Morris

Managing Editor, Environment The Center for Public Integrity

Jim Morris is a senior reporter and editor at the Center for Public Integrity and co-leader of the environment and labor team.... More about Jim Morris

Chris Hamby

Reporter The Center for Public Integrity

Chris Hamby’s series Breathless and Burdened, describing how the coal industry beat back miners' claims for black lung health be... More about Chris Hamby