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Critique Of RAND’s Reports On Asbestos

A Critique Of RAND’s Three Reports On Asbestos Trusts And Asbestos Litigation

 

By Elihu Inselbuch and Andrew J. Sackett

MEALEY’S Asbestos Bankruptcy Report

Vol. 15, #2, Sept. 2015

On May 21, 2015, the RAND Corporation (‘‘RAND’’) published a report entitled ‘‘Bankruptcy’s Effect on Product Identification in Asbestos Personal Injury Cases’’ (the ‘‘2015 Report’’). This was RAND’s third report on asbestos trusts and asbestos litigation published since 2010 written by Lloyd Dixon and Geoffrey McGovern (the ‘‘RAND Authors’’) as part of a multi-year program primarily funded by asbestos tort defendants and their insurers, who are engaged in a widespread effort to reduce their responsibilities to asbestos victims. The 2015 Report claims to conclude statistically that plaintiffs, when asked during tort system litigation discovery to name the manufacturers of the asbestos to which they were exposed, deliberately fail to identify bankrupt companies. This is a serious accusation and, as we discuss below, one that is not supported by — indeed, is refuted by — RAND’s own data.

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