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Recent Trends in Asbestos Litigation



by Allison N. Fihma
Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP - New York Office

Sheila Doyle Kelley
Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP - San Francisco Office

October 25, 2012

Previously published on October 2012

Almost 40 years after the first asbestos personal injury lawsuit was filed, asbestos litigation continues apace. The largest mass tort in U.S. history is showing no signs of slowing down — instead the litigation continues to morph, finding new types of plaintiffs and new categories of defendants. While the number of claims against manufacturers that formerly used asbestos material in their products is stabilizing, many limitations on existing trust funds and new bankruptcy filings have induced plaintiffs to target the “smaller players” and peripheral defendants. The asbestos litigation landscape is no longer dominated by asbestos-related pulmonary disease; rather, malignancies are gaining ground. Diagnoses of mesothelioma are at an all time high and, by some accounts, are not predicted to return to background levels until 2055. In addition, asbestos-related lung cancer cases are beginning to inundate the courts. As we near the end of 2012, a review of the most recent statistics and trends may forecast what lies ahead for those companies (and attorneys) entrenched in asbestos litigation.


 

The views expressed in this document are solely the views of the author and not Martindale-Hubbell. This document is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance.
 

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