Toxic tort fraud widespread


In a stunning development (for the New York Times) the paper reports that toxic tort plaintiffs who attempt to win damages for exposure to one type of substance are also claiming damages for exposure to a different substance. More than half the plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit in Texas seeking compensation for exposure to silica had previously filed claims against a trust set up to compensate those injured by asbestos (i.e., double dipping).

This article joins a long series of exposes regarding the con game in which plaintiff lawyers have too long engaged: filing problematic cases in plaintiff—friendly jurisdictions, using fake science to dupe hand—picked juries to award outrageous size awards to the lawyers (with some left over for the hand—picked plaintiffs).

Studies have shown that much of the "science" behind these cases is junk. Cerebral palsy is not caused by obstetricians, despite what John Edwards may claim and be awarded millions. Silicone implants do not cause cancer.

Radiologists who are employed by plaintiff's attorneys find problems at an exceedingly higher rate than objective radiologists viewing the same set of images. Jurisdiciton shopping is a blight on the legal landscape. Billions of dollars are extorted from companies and insurance companies, hundreds of thousands of jobs are lost — all to feed the maw of the trial bar.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has a hearing this morning to deal with proposed legislation on asbestos liability. Let's hope they read this article.

Ed Lasky   2 02 05