3.  Low-Dose Defendants Continue to Be “New” Target Defendants

A review of the defendants against whom plaintiffs’ attorneys are litigating and taking to verdict in 2013 demonstrates the ongoing trend of focusing on low-dose chrysotile defendants such as gasket friction-product and joint compound manufacturers. Most of the amphibole asbestos product defendants are no longer in the litigation, leaving an ever-creative plaintiffs’ bar to seek out additional sources of potential exposures from low-dose chrysotile products such as cosmetic talc, HVAC, and electrical products and distributors. Additionally, plaintiffs’ firms are spending millions of dollars to advertise on television and the Internet in search of individuals on whose behalf they can file mesothelioma claims. “Mesothelioma settlement,” “mesothelioma asbestos attorney,” “asbestos attorney” and “asbestos law firm” are the top four most expensive Google AdWords, commanding between $107 and $142 per click.

Given the media blitz, it is no wonder that almost all Americans diagnosed with mesothelioma will file lawsuits. Yet, it is estimated that 10-20 percent of all mesothelioma cases are caused by something other than asbestos. Causal factors under consideration include genetics, carbon nanotubes, taconite, ionizing radiation, talc, vermiculite contaminated with tremolite and erionite.

The best defense as to pursuit of “low dose” defendants remains battles over product ID and asbestos content issues. To that end, the Gordon & Rees defense team continues its efforts to carefully evaluate plaintiffs’ claims, investigate prior medical and exposure histories, retain and work closely with highly skilled experts in the medical and industrial hygiene fields, and file and win dispositive motions.

View part 1 and part 2 of this series.