It Took This Coal Miner 14 Years To Secure Black Lung Benefits. How Come?

Bethel Brock, a soft-spoken 77-year-old, has black lung disease from decades working in the coal fields of Virginia. Despite the federal Black Lung Benefits Act, it has taken him 14 years of battling the Westmoreland Coal Company, its insurance carrier, and their legion of lawyers and doctors for the benefits he is due under the law. The company successfully fought him 10 times by maintaining he is not seriously stricken with the incapacitating disease despite nearly two dozen findings to the contrary by his doctors. His fight is typical of the David-and-Goliath battles coal miners face when seeking black lung benefits. This is Brock, in his own words.