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Update: Ohio court finds fraud in asbestos case

"Ohio Judge Finds Calif. Firm Submitted Fraudulent Asbestos Claim Forms" is the headline in Matthew Hirsch's January 19 Recorder story.

After reviewing internal e-mails from the Brayton firm and other privileged documents, [Judge Harry] Hanna concluded that [plaintiff's attorney Christopher] Andreas' statements from a hearing last spring "were patently false and could only have been designed to deceive this court and Lorillard."

But Hanna said the improper conduct didn't stop there. The judge concluded Andreas also encouraged an asbestos trust to resist a court subpoena, then withheld materials used to prepare bankruptcy claim forms that Hanna ordered released in discovery.

The judge's only sanction was against the attorney, however. Plaintiff Harry Kananian's case was permitted to go forward, notwithstanding the fraud; Andreas moved to withdraw from the case when the allegations came to light. (If, indeed, the client was an innocent in the matter, that should go to whether the client can recover against the attorney, rather than the victim of the fraud.) Andreas will appeal. We noted press-coverage of the double-dipping allegations May 16 and Dec. 5.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.