News Reports

Sheldon Silver, Ex-New York Assembly Speaker, Is Found Guilty on All Counts

Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was convicted on Nov. 30, 2015 for ginning up state grants to a doctor in exchange for mesothelioma patient referrals to Silver’s law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg. The law firm then paid Silver millions in referral payments. In all, Silver was convicted on all seven federal counts of honest services fraud, extortion and money laundering. U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, called Silver’s acts “show-me-the-money” conduct.  

Judge: FACT Act would prevent 'abuse' of asbestos litigation

Washington County Judge John Brieden, on behalf of the American Legion, a veteran’s service organization, helped shape the FACT Act through a resolution that was written and adopted by the House of Representatives. Judge Briedan says the bill would prevent abuse of asbestos litigation.

Commentary: How FACT Act would bring transparency to asbestos claims

Asbestos trusts have been depleted by plaintiff lawyers who know how to game system to achieve the highest payouts from both the asbestos trusts and the court system, a scheme called double-dipping. Federal legislation that has recently passed the House of Representatives, the FACT Act, can bring transparency to the system and resolve the fraudulent practice.

Letters: Stop fraud on asbestos claims

One of Louisiana Senator John Kennedy's constituents is urging him to support the FACT Act; he says the Senator has an opportunity to help fix the long troubled issue of transparency with asbestos trusts.

Medicaid Catch-22: It’s time for the asbestos trusts to do what's right

A lack of transparency in the asbestos trust system is crippling insurance companies from being able to collect money they are owed from asbestos injury settlements. The Utah Attorney General has sued four of the largest asbestos trusts to recover money that is owned to the Medicaid system.

Supreme Court decision could have big impact on mass actions in Cook County, elsewhere

A recent supreme court ruling, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of Cal., ruled that a California court did not have jurisdiction over cases filed by out-of-state plaintiffs suing out-of-state companies. This decision could lead to fewer out-of-state claims made in plaintiff-friendly courts and decrease venue abuse. Ninety percent of asbestos claims filed in Madison County are from out-of-state plaintiffs looking for plaintiff-friendly courts known as ‘Judicial Hellhole’ jurisdictions.

Honeywell Seeks Info From Bankruptcy Trust; Asbestos Firm, Trustee Object

Honeywell International has filed for access to ballots from asbestos claimants in the federal bankruptcy court in Oakland, California citing the trust must process all ballots, but has refused to share copies of these document with Honeywell. The claim also says under bankruptcy code, these ballots are considered public information.

Asbestos attorney Benjamin Shein finds himself in the dock

John Crane Inc. (JCI) has filed a lawsuit under the anti-racketeering RICO law against Benjamin P. Shein and his law firm Shein Law Center of Philadelphia accusing the firm of failing to provide full exposure records of their claimants to mislead the court to maximize payouts from JCI. The firm later filed with the bankruptcy trust system for the same set of claimants, citing different exposures for the same injury.

Racketeering lawsuit against Philadelphia asbestos firm refiled in Pennsylvania

John Crane Inc. filed a lawsuit against Shein Law Center and attorney Benjamin P. Shein on the basis that the law firm violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. JCI claims Shein Law Center “devised and implemented a scheme” and "fabricated false asbestos ‘exposure histories’" fabricating how their clients were injured to maximize payouts from defendants.

"Bill Aims To Crack Down On ‘Double Dip’ In Asbestos Settlements "

A bipartisan asbestos trust transparency bill in the New York state senate will stop claimants from double-dipping in the court and bankruptcy trust systems. The bill requires claimants to file for bankruptcy claims within 45 days of filing in court to deter attorneys from falsifying and tailoring their injury claims to maximize payouts and would restore fairness to the court system.

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