“‘The companies don’t want to pay, they’ve never wanted to pay,’ says Rebecca Shelton, the director of policy and organizing at the Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center. The nonprofit provides free legal services to sick coal miners as they navigate what can be years-long battles to get benefits from former employers. Shelton adds, ‘The [companies] will fight tooth and nail to make an argument that they are not responsible for that miner’s disease.’
Many miners work for multiple companies over the course of their career, complicating efforts to hold employers liable for workers’ illnesses. Even in cases where an employer is held accountable, cases can take years and years, Shelton says. ‘It’s a complicated process, and it can be very drawn out.’”
Read the article here.