June 19, 2008
Trial Lawyers Inc.'s Asbestos Litigation Report, 2008
"When the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Legal Policy released its first Trial Lawyers, Inc. report, in 2003, we called asbestos litigation the “longest-running mass tort in U.S. history and arguably the most unjust.” Even as the incidence of new cases of the serious lung cancers caused by asbestos remained constant— for mesothelioma, at 2,000 to 4,000 per year—new asbestos claims exploded, nearing 100,000 in 2001.
This report describes Trial Lawyers, Inc.’s asbestos litigation business line in more detail. A flame retardant originally thought to be a “magic mineral,” asbestos ended up causing the death of thousands of individuals; likewise, litigation that originally sought redress for the truly injured metastasized into a big business that in too many cases recruited sham victims to beef up the plaintiffs’ bar’s bottom line.
The business model underlying such abusive litigation uses sophisticated marketing to attract thousands of claimants, generates cases with flimsy medical diagnoses, and packages claims together to overwhelm defendants and courts. Ultimately, the attorneys bully besieged defendants into settlements that enrich Trial Lawyers, Inc., while leaving genuinely injured claimants high and dry." [RJ]
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