There are between 5,122-5,831 individuals with silicosis claims in a consolidated mass tort litigation in Harris County, Texas. But in 2005, the Texas legislature passed a law requiring such claimants to provide medical evidence of a "minimum level of impairment."
The results? Only 54 of the over 5000 plaintiffs even attempted to meet the standard—and only 21 of those 54 actually did so. [Legal Newsline]
In other words, over 99% of the lawsuits brought were meritless, but without tort reform, the lawyers would have overwhelmed defendants and effectively stole from the innocent in the resulting settlements. And with such a guaranteed cash cow, there would be more than 5000 plaintiffs: new suits dried up once standards were established.
But don't count on any of the trial lawyers involved being brought to justice for their attempted fraud on the court.