“The Smoking Congresswoman and Her Asbestos Lawsuit”

by Walter Olson on November 13, 2013

Paul Barrett at Business Week:

…even a politically moderate, law school-educated guy like me, someone who’s perfectly prepared to root for a suit against a dishonest insurance company or an exploitative landlord, finds himself increasingly dismayed by the uses to which our civil justice system is put.

That’s by way of introducing the lawsuit filed by 69-year-old Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), known as a big-time smoker, attributing her lung cancer to asbestos products made by more than 40 companies. Did we mention that representing her is the politically well-connected New York firm of Weitz & Luxenberg?

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Nocera on the "asbestos scam" - Overlawyered
12.03.13 at 9:00 am

{ 4 comments }

1 Igor 11.13.13 at 8:01 pm

IANAL, but the sheer chutzpah of this poly-tick critter makes me shake my head in wonderment.
And, regrettably, it will not be summarily thrown out of court, but will proceed. I’m sure of it. We now live in Bizarro Land.
How in the world is she going to even *prove* her claim?!?!

2 mjs 11.13.13 at 9:08 pm

Let me second the sentiment….. “increasingly dismayed by the uses to which our civil justice system is put.”

3 William Nuesslein 11.14.13 at 7:16 am

If the Congresswoman was diagnosed with mesothelioma, then the claim against asbestos makes sense as smoking is considered only a risk factor for the asbestos effect.

I suspect we have a case of statutory presumptions overruling common sense.

4 Tom Ritter 11.21.13 at 4:09 pm

Anyone who is upset about this case proceeding does not know anything about mesothelioma causes. Many of those who have won settlements have been smokers. Do 5 minutes of homework before you get on your soap-box.

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