NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Considerable Costs of Asbestos Litigation

July 11, 2003

The American people in general have been victims of run-away asbestos litigation -- in additions to those physically affected, note observers.

  • Since the first asbestos-related suit was filed in 1966, nearly 70 companies have been hounded into bankruptcy by the litigation -- including more than 40 of them since 1998.
  • That has helped kill off more than 100,000 jobs -- with workers alone victimized by the loss of upwards of $5.2 billion in pay and retirement.
  • So far, companies and insurers have forked over almost $60 billion.
  • But there are still 600,000 asbestos lawsuits pending and, according to the Rand Corp., another 1.7 billion are waiting in the wings unless Congress enacts reforms.

According to reliable estimates, nearly 80 percent of "victims" being "compensated" have little or no illness, but get pay-offs from the asbestos fund any way. And, of course. their lawyers' pockets virtually rustle with cash all the way to the bank.

Source: Editorial, "Funding Fraud," Investor's Business Daily, July 11, 2003.


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