More than 150 plaintiffs have reportedly claimed in a legal malpractice suit filed in a Harrison County, Mississippi, state court that a law firm had them falsely diagnosed with silicosis “to extort global settlements” of millions of dollars from companies that manufacture and distribute silica-containing products and materials. Among other matters, the plaintiffs allege that John M. O’Quinn & Associates, PLLC, knowingly and deceitfully led “Plaintiffs on to believe that they had been diagnosed with a fatal disease all in an effort to create a mass-silicosis docket and generate millions of dollars in fees and expenses and keep themselves, and the experts and screening companies that they retained, gainfully employed for roughly a decade.”

They also claim that the firm and individual attorneys “were able to generate approximately $30 million in attorneys’ fees and hundreds of thousands of dollars” for the medical screening companies. The plaintiffs allege financial and mental injuries “in that they lived their lives believing they had been diagnosed with the incurable disease of silicosis while Mr. O’Quinn, the Firm and its attorneys and the referring lawyers reaped the profits of any false diagnosis, which was a product of their own making.” See Courthouse News Service, June 5, 2013.