An asbestos fraudster pays the price

The SE Texas Record Sep. 30, 2013, 3:48pm

When bad things happen to good people, it’s hard to understand. It seems unfair, unjust, unacceptable. It may prompt us to question our belief systems and to actually read that paperback copy of "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" that some well-meaning relative gave us years ago when something bad happened to us.

Anyway, we get philosophical for a day or two -- until everyday life distracts us again and we drop the deep thoughts that are starting to annoy our loved ones. 

On the other hand, when bad things happen to bad people, we’re likely to have quite the opposite reaction, a regular hallelujah moment. We let out a cowboy whoop or shout with joy, “It’s about time!”

That’s how we react whenever there’s more bad news for Robert Peirce. There’s been quite a bit lately and we’re getting hoarse from all the cheering. Still, if ever there was a guy who deserved to have bad things happen to him, it’s Robert Peirce.

For years, Pittsburgh attorney Robert Peirce filed fraudulent asbestos lawsuits against CSX Transportation and stymied the company’s countersuit for fraud. At the end of last year, however, a jury awarded CSX $469,000 after finding Peirce and a colleague guilty of conspiring with Bridgeport radiologist Ray Harron to fabricate those claims.

That’s the same Ray Harron that U. S. District Judge Janis Jack of Corpus Christi famously berated for his questionable practices. Judgments relying on Harron’s tainted testimony were subsequently overturned and Harron lost his medical license in seven states.

Now, just this month, in accordance with the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), U.S. District Judge Frederick Stamp of the Northern District of West Virginia has tripled the award.

That may not be the end of the bad news for Robert Peirce. Judge Stamp hasn’t ruled yet on whether or not he will have to repay CSX the $9 million it spent defending against his bogus suits.

We hope he tells Peirce to pay CSX the $9 million.



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