New Hope for Miners in Black Lung Cases

Labor Department initiates changes based on ABC News report.
2:12 | 06/05/14

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Transcript for New Hope for Miners in Black Lung Cases
A major development, getting action for America's ailing coal miners. We told you about the hundreds of workers turned away while suffering from dangerous black lung disease. Federal officials taking action. What every one of those workers once ignored can now do. ABC's chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross on a victory a long time in the making. Reporter: New hope like this man suffering from black lung caused by the coal dust created in the mines. But day and hundreds of others were denied government benefits of up to $900 a month after one prominent doctor working for the coal company said they did not have black lung. Dr. Paul wheeler of Johns Hopkins hospital. ABC news investigation conducted last year found that Dr. Wheeler in some 1,573 cases never found a single case of severe black lung in Nicole miner. Not one. Does it matter to you? It would matter if I were wrong. And no one is proving to me I'm wrong. Reporter: But autopsy reports from dead minors revealed he was wrong a lot. And now the officials are reacting to our report. It was shocking. Reporter: Labor department examiners were ordered this week to not credit Dr. Wheeler's negative x-ray Readings. Unless someone can convince us otherwise that anyone who has done that many Readings and never found black lung isn't probably credible. Reporter: For minors like Steve day who had given up hope of getting his benefits, the laborer department says he can reapply and not have to worry about what Dr. Wheeler is going to say. For his part, Dr. Wheeler maintains he's never been proven wrong. He told me he doesn't take the laborer department action seriously because he says its officials are not doctors from qualified medical institutions but he says he is. David. Turning now to a tender moment late today. Ten years since president

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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