Supreme Court pushes for change in law for miners' health
The Kentucky Supreme Court says legislators need to amend a state law that violates the rights of coal miners--specifically those suffering from black lung disease.
Officials say the problem with the law is it discriminates against coal miners. The unconstitutional procedures date back to 1996. Each year nearly 400 coal miners die from black lung disease.
Black lung, a disease caused by years of inhaling coal dust, affects nearly three percent of coal miners. Since 1996 workers' compensation for this disease has been hard to come by for coal miners in Kentucky. The stage of black lung that each coal miner is suffering from determines the amount of worker's compensation he or she receives.