Lisa Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, issued the following statement today regarding the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s hearing on silicosis litigation and tomorrow’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on asbestos legislation:
“ILR commends both the House and Senate for turning their attention this week to silicosis fraud and asbestos legislation — both important steps toward improving America’s legal system.
“We applaud the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee for their ongoing efforts to get to the bottom of what appears to be rampant fraud in silica litigation. The medical screening operations and questionable diagnoses the subcommittee is investigating are the crux of a mass tort litigation model that has devastated companies and left hard-working Americans jobless. However, this problem goes far beyond silica litigation; we hope the Subcommittee will expand its examination of egregious instances of potentially fraudulent behavior to include other mass torts.
“Further, tomorrow’s action by the Senate Judiciary Committee on asbestos legislation is also welcome news. Asbestos lawsuits have bankrupted over 70 American companies and threaten hundreds more; meanwhile the broken compensation system is delaying justice to sick patients. ILR supports efforts to pass a comprehensive solution to the asbestos litigation crisis that will expedite compensation to those most deserving while providing much-needed certainty and predictability to businesses.”