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  • Kirk Hartley

Is Coal the New Tobacco ? – An Example of Change – Will Asbestos Defendants Cope with Ch

A new Bloomberg article argues that coal has become the new tobacco, and points out some of the related financial and reputation risks. The article brings to mind the reality that change is real but usually difficult for most people and for most institutions. That reality perhaps underlies the recent comments by a smart lawyer who spends time in the asbestos litigation industry. He expressed to me the view that asbestos defendants and insurers have lost opportunities – and money – because they treat asbestos litigation as if it is static and unchanging. That’s remarkable, he pointed out, because in fact asbestos litigation has been through very plain changes and phases over the years. It will be interesting to see whether or how defendants and insurers try to cope with all the lung cancer claims, among other ongoing changes created by flexible plaintiff lawyers. And of course judges and courts also are involved, and have their own agendas and concerns. Change will happen. Maybe DRI should hand out copies of a little book titled: Change is Good… You Go First.

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About Kirk

Since becoming a lawyer in 1983, Kirk’s over 30 years of practice have focused on advising a wide range of corporations, associations, and individuals (as both plaintiffs and defendants) on both tort and commercial law issues centered around “mass torts.”

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