TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Southwestern Law School

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

WSJ on Asbestos Claims and Fraud

A front page article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal reported on a WSJ investigation into the state of asbestos litigation.  The article, "Asbestos Claims Rise, So Do Worries About Fraud,"  is behind a pay wall. In part, the article reports:

The Wall Street Journal reviewed trust claims and court cases of roughly 850,000 people filed since the late 1980s until as recently as 2012.

The analysis found numerous apparent anomalies: More than 2,000 applicants to the Manville trust said they were exposed to asbestos working in industrial jobs before they were 12 years old.

Hundreds of others claimed to have the most-severe form of asbestos-related cancer in paperwork filed to Manville but said they had lesser cancers to other trusts or in court cases.

The Manville trust declined to comment on individual cases, citing privacy concerns. The trust's general counsel, David Austern, said the trust tightened its oversight after a 2005 claims scandal, adding: "We audit periodically and haven't found any fraud." 

Accompanying the article is a neat graphic showing the connections between various law firms and the asbestos bankruptcy trusts. 


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