Agent Orange. Silicone gel breast implants. Tobacco. Direct mail sweepstakes. Microwave popcorn. They have all had their day as “the next big thing” in mass tort litigation. Of course, asbestos litigation is the king of them all. Most of today’s practicing lawyers were in diapers when the avalanche of asbestos cases was triggered in 1973. Nearly forty years later, well over $100 billion had been spent on asbestos claims (>$70 billion on transaction costs and ~$30 billion paid to claimants). Around 100 U.S. companies have filed for bankruptcy reorganization in whole or in part as a result of asbestos liabilities. Countless companies have been dragged into this next big thing litigation. The asbestos litigation machine is still running at full steam.
Click here to read the full article, "First Steps in Managing Mass Tort Litigation."