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WSJ on asbestos probe

From Friday's editorial (sub-only):

...Much of what a grand jury does is secret, but a few details are leaking out.

Among them is a recent court filing, in which one doctor involved in the Jack opinion, James Ballard (responsible for at least 11,000 asbestos diagnoses), has admitted he is a "subject" of a "criminal" grand jury proceeding. He and another asbestos diagnoser -- Dr. Ray Harron -- are already lawyered up and asserting their Fifth Amendment rights. Yet another physician, George Martindale, has sent documents to the grand jury suggesting that trial lawyers misused his work in court, as well as encouraged him to shut up about certain details in his deposition....

Even Congress is finally getting in on the act, with House Republicans Joe Barton and Ed Whitfield probing the key players in the Jack litigation. Mr. Whitfield's subcommittee recently voted 11-0 to authorize subpoenas to at least four doctors. To date, none of the doctors has supplied the requested documents; some are citing constitutional privileges. The committee is considering its next steps....

While much of the subpoena focus has been on doctors and screening companies, the trail is increasingly leading to the law firm door.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.