Nocera on the “asbestos scam”

Perhaps it was overreach for a prominent New York City plaintiff’s law firm to file asbestos litigation on behalf of Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, the famously fond-of-smoking Long Island Congresswoman now fighting lung cancer, against General Electric, Pfizer and more than 70 other companies. The high-profile case is focusing public attention on the legal fictions by which lawyers have been lassoing seemingly conventional lung cancer cases and bringing them into the asbestos litigation system [Joe Nocera, New York Times; Daniel Fisher; earlier]

P.S. Patterns of filing non-mesothelioma cancer cases reflect asbestos lawyers’ economic incentives [Daniel Fisher]


  • I have little sympathy for a person who files a bogus lawsuit, but to characterize McCarthy as “chain-smoking” is a Drudge-like exaggeration (one pack per day is not chain-smoking…two packs, yes), unless you have information not available to the NY Times reporter.

  • I’ve changed the phrase in deference to Mike’s comment.

  • Was Ms. McCarthy a ship yard worker or a fire retardant applicator? If not, then what in the world would be her exposure?

    What kind of society do we have that not even a congress person can understand right and wrong. Shame on her and shame on the United States of America.