The asbestos litigation machine

Yesterday the Manhattan Institute released a new report by my colleague Jim Copland, “Trial Lawyers Inc. — Asbestos“. As I note at Point of Law, even as a longtime observer of asbestos litigation I found it quite an eye-opener. I’m happy to announce that Jim Copland will be joining us tomorrow for a guestblogging stint to explain some of his findings.


  • Looks like a solid report. We need John Stossel of ABC to feature it.

  • This is a good report. Everyone who thinks there’s nothing wrong with mass tort litigation should read it.

    I’ve had a brief exposure to asbestos litigation on the defense side. What I saw was pretty amazing.

    These mass tort lawyers go to the union halls and sign people up who might have been exposed to asbestos at some point in their past. They get screened by a hand-picked doctor, who invariably finds that the 85-year-old man who smoked 2 packs a day for 60 years and has recently started to develop shortness of breath has an indeterminate smudge on his chest x-ray.

    The diagnosis, of course, is asbestosis.

    Almost invariably, these plaintiffs can’t provide any evidence that they were exposed to asbestos-containing products at all, let alone which products they were or which companies made them.

    It’s a shakedown, pure and simple.