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January 17, 2014

Court Ruling Shines a Spotlight on Asbestos Lawsuit Abuses

by Lisa A. Rickard

Visitors to the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., often notice the phrase “Equal Justice Under Law” engraved above the front entrance. Its prominent placement demonstrates the value Americans place in a fair and impartial justice system and the rule of law.

A bankruptcy proceeding underway in North Carolina demonstrates just how those principles are undermined daily in asbestos litigation. Fortunately, a judge in that case has exposed the nefarious tactics of the plaintiffs’ bar.

In a strongly-worded, 65-page ruling issued last week, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge George Hodges accused plaintiffs’ law firms of “impropriety” and “withholding evidence” in asbestos litigation against Garlock Sealing Technologies, a gasket company that was forced into bankruptcy because of asbestos lawsuits.

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