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RAND report on silica litigation

Missed this when it came out a few months ago, but it's definitely one to note:

...Litigation over injuries due to the inhalation of respirable silica dust in the workplace skyrocketed beginning in 2001, raising concerns that silica litigation would become a mass tort with similarities to the asbestos litigation that had occurred in the previous 30 years. However, the silica litigation collapsed soon after the discovery of numerous abuses in the procedures used to diagnose the injuries.

The uncovering of grossly inadequate diagnostic practices was a significant success for the tort system in handling a mass tort. However, there is no guarantee that similar practices would be uncovered should they be used in the future. This report reviews the court proceedings that led to the uncovering of abusive diagnostic practices in silica litigation. The insights are then used to identify several areas in which changes in litigation practices and procedures could increase the likelihood that similar diagnostic practices would be uncovered in the future or prevented from occurring in the first place.

The report is Stephen J. Carroll et al., The Abuse of Medical Diagnostic Practices in Mass Litigation: The Case of Silica (PDF) (via TortsProf.)



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.