Hopkins Radiologist is Coal Companies’ Trump Card
A senior radiologist at Johns Hopkins is the coal industry’s “trump card” in its cases against miners claiming black lung, a report by the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News says.
The Center for Public Integrity identified more than 1,500 cases decided since 2000 in which Wheeler was involved, reading a total of more than 3,400 X-rays. In these cases, he never found a case of complicated black lung, and he read an X-ray as positive for the earlier stages of the disease in less than 4 percent of cases.
Hopkins reportedly responded with a general written statement: “To our knowledge, no medical or regulatory authority has ever challenged or called into question any of our diagnoses, conclusions or reports resulting from the … program.”
When CPI sent Hopkins evidence that, in fact, many judges and government officials had challenged Wheeler’s diagnoses, Hopkins sent the same statement again.
The story is part of a three-part series done in cooperation with ABC News.