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April 11th, 2013

WSJ Spotlights Asbestos Shenanigans in Judicial Hellhole

Picking up where the latest Judicial Hellholes report left off, the Wall Street Journal this week editorialized about the consolidation game that asbestos kingpin Peter Angelos is trying to play in Baltimore.

The Journal urges Baltimore City Circuit Judge John M. Glynn to seize the opportunity for significant discovery that is presented by Angelos’s pending motion to consolidate some 13,000 non-mesothelioma asbestos claims.

Preliminary investigation by defense counsel indicates that more than 1,500 of the Angelos claims are duplicates.  “Of the remaining 11,383 plaintiffs, nearly 70% had been diagnosed by one or more of the same five doctors. One of the physicians, William Goldiner, diagnosed nearly 50% of the plaintiffs, 77 in one day. When not outputting claims for the tort bar, Dr. Goldiner works as a team doctor for the Baltimore Orioles, which are owned by Peter Angelos. Another doctor, Joseph Kligman, is a former partner of Dr. Goldiner. The other three doctors either prepared reports at Dr. Goldiner’s request or relied on his exams.

“This new information all but obliges Judge Glynn to . . . dig into the claims and see how many are bogus suits manufactured with the help of friendly doctors.  . . . [S]uch discovery is the best way for the judiciary to stop the avalanche of fraudulent claims so legitimate victims can get their day in court,” the Journal continued.

The editorial also endorses “a U.S. House of Representatives bill that would require asbestos trusts to make public their detailed claims data. This would help defense attorneys connect dots and expose fraud.

“The asbestos litigation scam has dragged on because it has been allowed to operate in the shadows. The Baltimore court and Congress have a rare chance to shine a light,” the editorial concludes.

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