TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Southwestern Law School

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

RAND Report on Silica Litigation Released

The RAND Institute has released Stephen J. Carroll et al., The Abuse of Medical Diagnostic Practices in Mass Litigation: The Case of Silica (RAND Inst. for Civil Justice 2009).  It is available here:  Download DC-170832-v1-RAND_silica_study_final_report[1]

Thanks to Mark Behrens for the tip.


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"This research was supported by the National Industrial
Sand Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, and the Coalition for Litigation Justice. ... The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit research organization providing objective analysis
and effective solutions..."

enough said.

Posted by: tde4 | Dec 1, 2009 2:16:40 PM

I have no comment on the merits of the report (which I have not yet read) other than to say that the historical discussion about silicosis - the industrial disease - is pedestrian - but benefits from its reliance on a classic:

Rosner, David, and Gerald E. Markowitz, Deadly Dust: Silicosis and the Politics of Occupational
Disease in Twentieth-Century America, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1991.

It is an exciting read - a brilliant exposition of the messiness of a scientific paradigm shift: how the germ theory of disease blinded observers to the effects of silica dust on the industrial stone cutters in Barre, Vermont.

The germ theorists saw tuberculosis and unsanitary practices by the workers at their homes. They were blinded by their powerful theory to the reality of silicosis as stone cutting came to be driven by machines in sheds rather than by hand.

Deadly Dust is available in paper back, new and used.


Posted by: George Conk | Dec 1, 2009 9:15:26 PM

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