Wednesday, August 18, 2004


"It is, arguably, the biggest racket in American history - asbestos litigation. It is bigger than bootlegging during the Prohibition era. Bigger than cocaine trafficking during the drug-addled 1970s. Bigger than securities fraud during the get-rich-quick 1990s.

That's why a new, underreported study published in the latest issue of Academic Radiology ought to be read by judges presiding over asbestos-related lawsuits, and by lawmakers on Capitol Hill debating the merits of asbestos litigation reform. In the study, an independent panel of doctors reviewed 492 chest X-rays entered as evidence by trial lawyers in asbestos lawsuits. The panel found that fewer than 5 percent of the X-rays revealed possible asbestos-related lung damage.

Yet, the doctors who were paid by trial lawyers to act as "expert" witnesses in the asbestos lawsuits, the doctors who originally read the X-rays, concluded that 96 percent showed asbestos-related abnormalities. "It was astonishing," Dr. Joseph. N. Gitlin, the lead author of the study, an associate professor of radiology at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, told The New York Times.

The gross disparity in the findings of the panel of doctors who conducted the independent study and the doctors who sold their "expert" testimony to asbestos trial lawyers cannot be attributed to mere differences in interpretation of the X-rays.

What we have here is prima facie evidence of medical fraud. Indeed, it is the unholy alliance between buckraking trial lawyers and unethical physicians that is driving the proliferation of asbestos lawsuits in this country.

Roughly 730,000 asbestos claims have been filed over the past four decades, including 200,000 that are currently pending in state and federal courts throughout the fair land. The total cost of asbestos litigation to American businesses has increased from $1 billion in 1982 to a whopping $70 billion in 2002, according to a study by the Rand Institute for Civil Justice."

More here.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

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