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2006

Antitrust

Economics

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Theories Of Asbestos Litigation Costs ­ Why Two Decades Of Procedural Reform Have Failed To Reduce Claimants’ Expenses, Jeffrey M. Davidson May 2006

Theories Of Asbestos Litigation Costs ­ Why Two Decades Of Procedural Reform Have Failed To Reduce Claimants’ Expenses, Jeffrey M. Davidson

Student Scholarship Papers

In twenty years of asbestos litigation, procedural reforms at all levels of the civil litigation system have failed to reduce plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees. The result has been dramatic undercompensation of asbestos tort victims. This paper attempts to explain this remarkable fact using economic methodology. The paper offers three theories: First, that the continuing difficulty of assessing causation in asbestos and other mass tort cases predictably impedes the efforts of procedural reform to reduce costs; second, that changes in defendant and insurer risk attitudes have generated costly litigation; third, that collusion of plaintiffs’ attorneys to maintain prices cannot be ruled out ...