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December 3, 2013

The New Asbestos Scam

There is a growing trend is asbestos litigation, Joe Nocera writes in the New York Times. Smokers – such a New York Representative Carolyn McCarthy – are now suing companies for exposure to trace amounts of the chemical:

With asbestos litigation well into its fourth decade — the longest-running mass tort in American history — you’d think the plaintiffs’ bar would have run out of asbestos companies to sue. After all, asbestos lawsuits have bankrupted more than 100 companies. Yet McCarthy has found more than 70 additional companies to sue, including General Electric and Pfizer. Asbestos litigation, says Lester Brickman, a professor at Yeshiva University and perhaps the most vocal critic of asbestos lawsuits, “is a constant search for viable defendants.” Because asbestos was once such a ubiquitous product, there is always somebody else to sue.

McCarthy’s lawsuit claims that her illness is the result of contact with asbestos from her boiler maker family members when she was young.

Nocera continues:

I hope McCarthy wins her battle with lung cancer. It is an awful disease. But the right thing for her to do is drop this lawsuit. All it has really accomplished is showing how asbestos litigation is a giant scam.

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