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68 Brook. L. Rev. 379 (2002-2003)
Establishing the Casual Link in Asbestos Litigation: An Alternative Approach

handle is hein.journals/brklr68 and id is 389 raw text is: ESTABLISHING THE CAUSAL LINK IN ASBESTOS
LITIGATION: AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH*
INTRODUCTION
In the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth
centuries, asbestos was one of the most widely used materials
in  industrialized    society. An     inexpensive    and   fireproof
insulator, asbestos could be found in industrial sites, office
buildings and residential homes as well as automotive parts
and household appliances.' In fact in the twentieth century
alone, more than 30 million tons of asbestos were used.2 Many,
if not most, who worked in fields such as construction,
automotives and the like, were exposed to asbestos on a regular
basis. At the beginning of the twentieth century, numerous
studies emerged establishing a link between asbestos and lung
disease.3 With the passing of time, it became increasingly clear
that asbestos was in fact a dangerous carcinogen. Despite this
information, most companies continued their use of asbestos,4
02002 Simcha David Schonfeld. All Rights Reserved.
1 Laborers have used asbestos in the manufacture of more than three
thousand products. See Special Project: An Analysis of the Legal, Social, and Political
Issues Raised by Asbestos Litigation, 36 VAND. L. REV. 573, 578-79 nn.1, 7 (1983).
2 See Myra Paiewonsky Mulcahy, Note, Proving Causation in Toxic Torts
Litigation, 11 HOFSTRA L. REV. 1299, 1303 (1983) (stating that by 1978, nearly thirty-
two million tons of asbestos had been used).
3 The earliest indication of a link between asbestos and lung disease dates
back to 1900 when Dr. H. Montague Murray, a British physician, found traces of
asbestos in the lungs of a thirty-three-year-old patient who died after working in an
asbestos-textile factory for fourteen years. See PAUL BRODEUR, OUTRAGEOUS
MISCONDUCT', THE ASBESTOS INDUSTRY ON TRIAL 11 (1985). Additionally, by 1930,
articles on the dangers of asbestos appeared in medical journals of the United States,
Italy and France. BARRY I. CASTLEMAN, ASBESTOS: MEDICAL AND LEGAL ASPECTS 19
(4th ed., 1996). A 1943 report by Dr. Wilhelm C. Hueper suggested that lung cancer
and asbestos were closely related. Id. at 45.
4 In 1975, the annual report of Raybestos-Manhattan, a major asbestos
company, revealed in exquisite detail the fact that industry leaders were fully aware of
the dangers of asbestos as early as 1930 and explained the lengths to which they went
to suppress publication of said dangers in the trade journal. BRODEUR, supra note 3, at
107-13. See also Borel v. Fibreboard Paper Prods. Corp., 493 F.2d 1076, 1106 (5th Cir.
1974) (The unpalatable facts are that in the twenties and thirties the hazards of

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