Silica Litigation: Controls are Needed to Curb the Potential for Unwarranted Claims

April 8, 2004

Victor E. Schwartz

The number of personal injury lawsuits alleging injuries from occupational exposure to respirable silica, or industrial sand, has risen markedly. The recent increase in silica lawsuits after years of relatively stable dockets may reflect efforts by plaintiffs’ lawyers to “beat the clock” and file their cases before new tort reform legislation takes effect in a number of states. It may also reflect efforts by members of the asbestos personal injury plaintiffs’ bar to diversify their portfolio of cases in light of potential asbestos litigation reforms at the federal and state levels. In fact, many of the lawsuit-generating tactics and mechanisms used in asbestos cases, such as mass medical screenings, are now being redirected toward silica defendants....

Silica Litigation: Controls are Needed to Curb the Potential for Unwarranted Claims