Exploiting Ike

The SE Texas Record Sep. 27, 2008, 11:18am

When all you have is a hammer, every problem's a nail.

And as Southeast Texas picks up the pieces in the wake of Hurricane Ike, the asbestos lawyers are hammering away.

This week, an asbestos lawyer-backed marketing agency reminded our stricken communities that in addition to the physical destruction we've suffered, there's another potential threat: hurricanes might increase one's exposure to asbestos.

And if you think you or a loved one has been victimized, the agency knows just who to call to help.

"We've seen this tactic before. It's really sad a group of lawyers, who should be trying to help people, instead of trying to take advantage of (Hurricane Ike) victims," said Kristen Voinis of Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse of Central Texas. "We urge people to be careful of this type of ad."

As reported by our David Yates, the pointless plaintiff's pitch framed as a press release was sent on Sept. 22, dubbed as a "public advisory" intended for public officials to distribute to local media. It lists common materials from your tattered house that may contain asbestos-- from paint to insulation to caulking to plumbing--implying that anyone with damage should consider the threat of mesothelioma.

Nothing could be more in asbestos lawyers' interest. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Inhaled over long periods in significant quantities, asbestos can cause cancer or lung disease. Inhaled in small amounts over a few days, weeks, or months, the health risks are virtually nil.

Statistically, a Golden Triangle resident cleaning up after Ike is more likely to die by lightning than by contracting an asbestos-related disease.

Asbestos lawyers know this fact. But some lawyers also seem to believe that it isn't actual sickness, but the fear of sickness and the accusations of sickness that can generate a big payday.

Every calamity shouldn't be considered an opportunity for some trial lawyers to troll for clients. If only law schools started teaching that.

More News