Shook Partner Phil Goldberg has authored an article for Law360 detailing how attorneys for asbestos plaintiffs in New York have developed a technique for gaming the legal system. “They withhold evidence their clients were exposed to many different companies’ asbestos products to make it look like only one or two businesses in the lawsuit are solely responsible,” he explains. “This inflates the litigation award. Only after the case is over do the lawyers seek compensation from the others. This is not how litigation is supposed to work."
“Withholding evidence is fraud and comes at a heavy cost. It takes a toll on plaintiffs and their families, leaves less money for people who will get asbestos-related diseases down the road, and hurts businesses that cannot afford the fraudulent liability costs,” Goldberg explains. “There is a simple solution: transparency. Courts should learn about a plaintiff’s entire exposure history so they can take into consideration the trust claims when apportioning liability in the lawsuits.”