While i'm sure, given the political perspective of the journal that some of the reporting is a bit over wrought, but there is little doubt that this was a very bad week to be a trial lawyer working in asbestos and silicosis litigation.
In short, both congress and state attorney generals, as well as the justice department have trained their sights on the abuses that appear to have occurred in the asbestos and silicosis litigation nationwide, in particular the practice of mobile screenings. While lax medical review and questionable client acquisition practices have been long rumored in this particular area of mass torts, nothing of the scale that appears to have been uncovered by investigators was ever imagined by most trial lawyers.
It's ugly, if fascinating reading, and i'm sure will be a focus of journalists and bloggers in the months ahead. We can only hope the early indications don't turn out to be part of a nationwide practice of exaggerating claims and sloppy medical verification of illness, or once again those who genuinely suffer from these horrific illnesses caused by asbestos exposure will be unfairly painted in with those who have attempted to defraud the system.