In asbestos cases, defense costs outweigh plaintiffs’

Who is responsible for the greater share of the cost of asbestos litigation, plaintiffs’ lawyers or defense lawyers?

A recent Rand Corporation study finds that more than 730,000 people in the United States filed compensation claims for asbestos-related injuries from the early 1970s through the end of 2002, costing businesses and insurance companies more than $70 billion.

Of every dollar spent on asbestos litigation, the study concludes, 42 cents went to claimants, 31 cents went to defense costs and 27 cents went to plaintiffs’ lawyers and other related costs.