Jessica Lilly Published

Sen. Rockefeller Works on Black Lung Bill With Pa. Senator Casey

Black lung is a deadly disease caused by exposure to dust underground.

Sens. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Jay Rockefeller and plan to introduce legislation aimed at ensuring more fair treatment for coal miners with black lung disease as they pursue benefits claims.

The bill by the two coal-state senators comes after an investigation examined how doctors and lawyers, working at the behest of the coal industry, helped defeat the benefits claims of sick miners. The investigation was done by the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News.

Senator Rockefeller introduced the Black Lung Health Improvements Act last year, but the new bill is expected to address issues uncovered in the investigation.

Among other things, the bill requires parties in a case to disclose all medical evidence, and strengthens criminal penalties for making false statements in the claims process.

The senators plan to introduce the bill mid to late November of this year.

Black lung is an irreversible and potentially deadly disease caused by exposure to coal dust, where the dust particles accumulate in the lungs.