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David Egilman on asbestos screenings

Not new, but an evergreen worth memorializing: in 2002 the American Journal of Industrial Medicine published a letter from David Egilman MD, of the Brown University Department of Community Health, on the consequences of mass attorney-directed asbestos screenings. Dr. Egilman, who himself has testified extensively for plaintiffs in asbestos and other toxic tort litigation, was critical of attorneys who paid x-ray readers if they obtained desired results but not otherwise, "shopped around" x-rays until they found a radiologist willing to play ball, and in other ways massaged the files of unimpaired claimants so as to develop asbestos lawsuits. The result was to divert huge sums from the coffers of bankrupt companies to unimpaired claimants, even as genuine victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related ills were sent away with inadequate sums. Dr. Egilman's letter -- cited by, among many others, by Sen. Hatch, by plaintiff's lawyer Steven Kazan in Senate testimony, by Eddie Curran of the Mobile Register in that paper's landmark series -- is available here. Incidentally, for what it's worth, Egilman has since then come in for criticism from Ted, here and here, on unrelated issues.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.