fbpx
News
January 22, 2014

Lisa Rickard’s Letter to the NYTimes on Fraudulent Asbestos Suits

To the Editor:

The Asbestos Scam, Part 2,” by Joe Nocera (column, Jan. 14), is an excellent explanation of the continuing fraud in asbestos litigation and why it hurts future asbestos victims, innocent companies and their employees, and the integrity of the American judicial system.

Companies have fought hard to expose this fraud but have found few listeners. Judge George Hodges, a federal bankruptcy judge, deserves credit for not accepting business as usual by allowing attorneys for Garlock Sealing Technologies to get access to asbestos bankruptcy trust records. The company discovered that, in hundreds of the cases that helped drive it into bankruptcy, plaintiffs’ attorneys withheld key evidence.

Other judges around the country should follow Judge Hodges’s lead. Better yet, the Senate should take up the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act, passed by the House, which would require asbestos bankruptcy trusts to divulge information on all claims and prevent the kinds of “impropriety” that Judge Hodges uncovered.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys have lobbied hard to keep bankruptcy trust claims secret. Now we know why.

If Judge Hodges had approved the plaintiffs’ request for an additional $1 billion or more in the Garlock bankruptcy proceeding, the attorneys’ take would have been $300 million or more (assuming a 30 percent contingency fee) in addition to the ill-gotten gains they have already received by withholding evidence in other cases against the company.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers fight against transparency is not about asbestos victims; it is about making themselves even richer.

LISA A. RICKARD
President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform

This letter to the editor first appeared on page A-18 of the New York Times on January 22, 2014

Arizona skyline Blog Arizona Governor Signs Law to Prevent Over-naming in Asbestos Lawsuits Asbestos Blog West Virginia Wants to Pay Jurors More---That’s a Good Thing Asbestos, Other Issues News California Asbestos Verdict Reversed; Wrong State's Laws Were Used Asbestos News In The News-June 11, 2021 Asbestos News NYC Asbestos Suits Packed with Blameless Defendants Asbestos

Cookie Notice

By clicking “I Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.

Cookie Notice

By clicking “I Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. Review Settings