Large volume asbestos cases mulled

Dec. 17, 2012 at 9:48 AM

BALTIMORE, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- A Baltimore law firm wants a judge to consider a large volume of asbestos suits at one time in order to ease congested courts of more than 13,000 cases.

The proposal, which a judge is scheduled to hear Monday, would revive an approach from the 1990s in which multiple cases will be tried at once citing broad links between asbestos and health problems, The Baltimore Sun reported.

"We've done it before and it's been successful before and we need to do it now because we have all these cases that need resolution," said Theodore M. Flerlage, an attorney with the Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos. "There are lot of people who have been waiting a long time and are sick now and need their day in court."

The firm won $1 billion in asbestos lawsuits in similar cases in 1992.

Possible defendants said the strategy violates their rights to a fair hearing.

"It is extremely concerning to see a movement by the Angelos firm to turn back the clock to an outdated and discredited method of asbestos litigation," said Harold Kim, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, a group opposing the Angelos plan.

"There's a very high likelihood that a lot of these people aren't sick and their claims are supported by discredited doctors."

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