“Science for Sale” Series Shines a Light on Asbestos Companies’ Tactics
Houston, Tx, USA, 02/21/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/
Prior to the banning of asbestos in automobile brakes, mechanics repairing and replacing worn pads and linings were frequently exposed to microscopic asbestos fibers that were the result of friction that had worn down the auto parts. Mechanics would open the brake drum and use compressed air to blow it out – and would subsequently breathe in the airborne dust. Today we know that it was this exposure that caused so many mechanics to develop asbestos-related diseases that have caused untold pain and suffering.
In what is the second of a four-part series being published by the Center for Public Integrity and Vice News, it is being revealed that after being stung by repeated losses in mesothelioma lawsuits filed against them by former auto mechanics, the Ford Motor Company approached a toxicologist associated with a consulting firm known for their work on behalf of corporate defendants and asked them to conduct research into whether mesothelioma was actually associated with brake work. Since that initial contact in 2001, Ford has spent almost $40 million dollars in support of journal articles and expert testimony that repeatedly concludes that there is no link. The goal, according to John Dement, a professor in Duke University’s Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine who has spent years studying asbestos, is “to try to generate doubt where, really, little doubt existed.”
Finding a way to throw shade at asbestos research is of particular importance to Ford. As recently as 2014 the company’s annual report indicated that, “Annual payout and defense costs may become significant in the future.” By contrast, the other big American auto manufacturers have not needed to defend themselves in court, as both General Motors and Chrysler both filed for bankruptcy in 2009, thus limiting their exposure to asbestos litigation.
Though the testimony based on this “science for sale” that has been entered on Ford’s behalf has indeed cast doubt on established science, mesothelioma lawyers have been largely successful in identifying it for what it is. In one notable case, a scientist testifying on behalf of fa mesothelioma victim spoke directly to the defense’s case, saying that Ford’s experts had “spun the literature”. “They’re not taking what the studies say; they’re putting a spin on it.” The plaintiff’s witness went on to say, “They wouldn’t have had to go and pay Exponent to write all the papers to say, ‘Well, we’ve reanalyzed the data, and there really isn’t any evidence.’” The jury found in favor of the plaintiffs.
In many situations where big companies are responsible for a victims’ exposure to asbestos, it may not be necessary to go through a court proceeding at all. Some companies that have previously been identified as causing exposure to asbestos have established asbestos bankruptcy trusts for the benefit of victims, and these have an estimated $30 billion value in total. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the $30 billion asbestos trust may be the fastest and most straight-forward way for you to receive the compensation that you deserve. The attorneys at Danziger & De Llano can help you explore all of your options. Call us today.at 1-800-818-5043
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