The spiraling cost of asbestos lawsuits is a burden on the American economy. The pace at which firms are forced into bankruptcy is accelerating due to an increasing number of asbestos related lawsuits. Indeed, these suits caused 61 companies to file bankruptcy and up to 60,000 jobs have been lost. Many of the businesses that are hit by asbestos lawsuits were only tangentially connected to the harms caused by asbestos.
There are asbestos victims that deserve compensation, but the current legal system takes damages from the wrong place by punishing innocent companies and the people that work for them. A study posted by the Asbestos Alliance entitled “The Impact of Asbestos Liabilities on Workers in Bankrupt Firms” shows how workers face significant costs, ranging from retirement insecurity and layoffs.
The Asbestos Alliance makes a strong case for reform. Those that were truly injured should receive rewards, but damages shouldn’t come from a legal lottery that draws from those that aren’t guilty.