WSJ investigation on asbestos claims fraud

by Walter Olson on March 15, 2013

It’s behind a paywall, but TortsProf has a few highlights. Some lawyers are battling to stave off transparency that could catch out counsel and clients who tell inconsistent stories from one case to the next in the course of squeezing maximum payouts from bankruptcy trusts set up to handle claims against asbestos defendants; the trusts themselves have extensive managerial ties to leading plaintiff’s-side firms.

P.S. And House hearings [Bloomberg News, Chamber-backed Legal NewsLine].

{ 3 comments }

1 Robert 03.15.13 at 9:24 pm

These stories always amaze me. (Mortgage have a similar high fraud rate–and over 50% of the people who applied for the “first time homebuyers tax credit” did so fraudulently)

The article says: (I pay for the WSJ)

According to court filings, the claims include those from nurses who say they were exposed to asbestos on the job when they chipped paint from boilers—which the trusts allege is incongruous work for that occupation. They also say Mr. Mandelbrot’s office has filed claims from distant relatives of dead people who are able to assemble meticulous, decades-old lists of job sites where the victims worked that qualify them for a payout.

What amazes me is how dishonest the 99% (or the 47%) is. These people will be the first to complain about greedy Wall Street and banks (which for the most part follow the law), but give them an opportunity to cheat and still, and they will.

2 William Nuesslein 03.16.13 at 9:11 am

When house prices were rising rapidly, leveraged investment for a house was the way to riches. Donald Trump’s incredibly stupid investment in Manhattan during New York’s fiscal woes was hugely successful because it was stupid and highly leveraged. It was main street greed that fueled the housing bubble.

Robert is right. Fraud by the average Joe is to be expected.

3 Michael Mandelbrot 03.16.13 at 10:53 am

Hi. Let me be clear – That article is littered with lies. First off, my office has never filed a claim for a ‘nurse’ who did boiler work. I know the claim personally and it was for a “materials handler” who worked in a hospital and not a nurse. Dionne Searcy, the writer, left out key facts. There is fraud out there – but not by me.

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