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Asbestos use has shrunk dramatically, with levels at barely 3 percent of their 1973 peak. However, that fact hasn’t stopped rapidly multiplying asbestos lawsuits. People once thought that this type of litigation would go away as asbestos was phased out, but instead the number of suits has exploded to 600,000. Indeed, these lawsuits threaten our economy. 67 companies have already been forced into bankruptcy.
Those that have truly been injured by asbestos deserve compensation, but an article by the Cato Institute entitled “Asbestos Liability Should Be on Domestic Reform Agenda” proves that this isn’t happening: 90 percent of asbestos related claims between 1991 and 2000 were non-malignancies, meaning that most had conditions that caused no physical impairment such as pleural plaques. No doubt, the current system takes money from real victims and gives it to greedy attorneys and unscrupulous defendants.
Asbestos is getting rarer, but asbestos lawsuits are getting more common. We need to stop this lawsuit lottery and bring justice back to our courts.