Are American lawyers going abroad to seek out new asbestos claimants? Of course they are. Like any business person, they are seeking new markets.
Shipyards in Europe provide concrete examples. In particular, a March 24, 2009 article describes an American plaintiff’s lawyer, Mitchell Cohen, speaking to shipyards workers in Malta, with the group apparently having been assembled the GRW trade union. According to the article, Mr. Cohen was talking about making claims against US asbestos trusts. Likewise, a 2004 article describes Mr. Cohen having been in Spain to speaking to and handing out settlement checks from US asbestos trusts to persons who worked on US Navy vessels in Rota, Spain.
Why shipyards? Shipyards anywhere in the world are great sources for asbestos claiming due to widespread use of asbestos during shipbuilding, including signficant use of the highly toxic amphibole fibers. Indeed, much of America’s asbestos claiming arose from shipyards. Now, the claiming pattern is being repeated with claimants from shipyards around the globe seeking to file lawsuits and claims against asbestos trusts established in the US through Chapter 11 proceedings.