2014 Winner, Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting

Breathless and Burdened: Dying from Black Lung, Buried by Law and Medicine

A year-long investigation by The Center for Public Integrity, in partnership with the ABC News Brian Ross investigative unit, examined how doctors and lawyers, working at the behest of the coal industry, helped defeat benefit claims of coal miners who were sick and dying of black lung disease. The team explored thousands of previously classified legal filings and created an original database of medical evidence that showed how prominent lawyers withheld key evidence and doctors at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, hired by the coal industry, consistently denied the existence of advanced black lung on X-rays. Following the online and network news reports, Johns Hopkins suspended its black lung program, U.S. senators began crafting reform legislation and members of Congress called for a federal investigation.

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