Howard Berkes

Howard Berkes appears in the following:

'I Lost A Hand And This Is Workman's Comp. ... I Didn't Lose A Hook!'

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The tattoos on Dennis Whedbee's left arm describe what he lost when the North Dakota oil rig where he was working blew out in 2012. There's an image of a severed hand spurting blood, framed by the word "LOST" in block letters and the date: "9-23-12."

The message underscores Whedbee's ...


Delinquent Mines: Congress Revives Bill To Hold Mine Owners Accountable

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Federal lawmakers have revived a mine safety reform bill that addresses a regulatory failure detailed in a joint investigation by NPR and Mine Safety and Health News.

The Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act includes a provision that directly addresses the Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA) failure ...


Employers And Insurers Gain Control In Workers' Compensation Disputes

Monday, March 30, 2015

In 10 states, injured workers are finding it more difficult to get or keep medical treatment their doctors prescribe because of reforms to workers' comp laws.


California Auditing Insurance Company That Took Away Home Health Aide

Monday, March 16, 2015

California's labor department says it will conduct an audit of how Travelers Insurance handled the case of paralyzed worker Joel Ramirez, who was left to fend for himself for months after the company withdrew his 24-hour home health care.

Ramirez was featured in a ProPublica/NPR investigation of state ...


Feds Add Coal-Dust Coverup Allegation To Mine CEO's Indictment

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Six weeks before a landmark mine disaster trial, federal prosecutors in West Virginia have added a new allegation to the criminal conspiracy charges lodged against former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.

A superseding indictment filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Beckley, W. Va., accuses Blankenship of ...


As Workers' Comp Varies From State To State, Workers Pay The Price

Friday, March 06, 2015

Injured workers who are dependent on workers' compensation have faced eroding benefits. We go to Alabama and Georgia, where the value of an amputated arm is $700,000 more just across the state line.


U.S. Appeals Court Overturns Gag Order In Mine Disaster Case

Thursday, March 05, 2015

A federal appeals court has vacated a sweeping gag order in the criminal case involving former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship and the 2010 Upper Big Branch coal mine disaster.

More than two dozen news organizations, including The Charleston Gazette and NPR, filed appeals after U.S. District Judge ...


'Grand Bargain' In Workers' Comp Unravels, Harming Injured Workers Further

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Changes to workers' compensation laws mean families and government bear more of the costs that result from injuries on the job.


Federal Regulators Link Workers' Comp Failures To Income Inequality

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Changes to workers' compensation laws mean families and government bear more of the costs that result from injuries on the job.


Injured Workers Suffer As 'Reforms' Limit Workers' Compensation Benefits

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Over the past decade, states have slashed workers' compensation benefits, denying injured workers help when they need it most and shifting the costs of workplace accidents to taxpayers.

Comments [1]

Regulators Take Action Against Delinquent Mines

Monday, January 12, 2015

In reaction to an NPR/MSHN investigation, federal regulators, a member of Congress and others are considering ways to crack down on mining companies that fail to pay delinquent mine safety penalties.


Judge Maintains Gag Order In Coal Mine Disaster Trial

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

A federal judge in West Virginia has rejected the pleas of NPR and other news organizations and upheld a sweeping gag order in the criminal trial of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.

Blankenship faces charges of conspiracy and securities fraud, which stem from the federal criminal investigation of the ...


NPR Challenges Gag Order In Mine Disaster Case

Monday, December 01, 2014

NPR and four other news organizations are challenging a sweeping gag order issued in the federal criminal case against former coal mining executive Don Blankenship.

Blankenship was indicted on November 13 in Beckley, W.Va., on charges of conspiracy and securities fraud. The charges stem from the 2010 explosion ...


Delinquent Mine Fines: 'Clearly Troubling ... More Can Be Done'

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A key House Republican called today for federal regulators to crack down on mine owners who don't pay fines for safety violations, saying, "Clearly more can be done."

Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, was reacting to an investigation by ...


Fines Don't Appear To Deter Mine Safety Violations

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit


Billionaire Spent Millions In Charity, But Avoided Mine Fines

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Jim Justice, a West Virginia philanthropist and mine owner, gave away and invested more than $200 million while his mines failed to pay $2 million in delinquent mine safety penalties.


Former CEO Indicted For Alleged Role In Deadly Mine Disaster

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Don Blankenship is accused of defying safety regulators when he ran the Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia. A blast at the mine killed 29 people in 2010.


Top Delinquent Mine Has Deadly Legacy

Thursday, November 13, 2014

In the eight years regulators didn't collect penalty fines from D&C Mining, it was cited 1,500 times for safety violations — including many that federal inspectors say put miners at serious risk.


Common Core Reading: The Struggle Over Struggle

Thursday, November 13, 2014

With the Common Core State Standards' emphasis on "complex texts," some critics worry kids are being asked to struggle too much. We ask: How much is too much?


Coal Mines Keep Operating Despite Injuries, Violations And Millions In Fines

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

An NPR investigation found thousands of American mine owners fail to pay penalties for safety violations, even as they continue to manage dangerous — and sometimes deadly — operations.