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Joseph J. Welter Provides Commentary on Asbestos-Claims Trends in Mealey’s Report

January 26, 2023
Joseph J. Welter

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article was first published in the Mealey’s Litigation Report: Asbestos.

Joseph J. Welter, co-chair of Goldberg Segalla’s Toxic Tort and Environmental Law practice groups, authored a commentary in the Mealey’s Litigation Report: Asbestos in which he examines the history of asbestos-related lung cancer claims, including the medical complexity of tying asbestos to lung cancer.

In his piece — titled “Baseless Lung Cancer Filings Delaying and Depleting Compensation Resources for Legitimate Asbestos Claims: The Need for Medical and Exposure Criteria” — Joe explains the shift of asbestos filings from mesothelioma to lung-cancer claims. He notes, too, the startling increase in asbestos-related lung cancer claims.

“[There is an] alarming trend of objectively less-deserving plaintiffs prevailing on claims at the expense of those more severely harmed,” Joe wrote, adding the shift in filings persists despite “no underlying medical foundation to causally connect asbestos exposure and lung cancer,” and minimal or no occupational asbestos exposure within the claims.

Noting these claims cause added stress on the legal system, Joe proposes the solution is to consistently apply medical and exposure criteria for asbestos-related lung cancer claims.

He also pointed to the need of procedures to weed out claims that do not qualify under the criteria, such as through legislation reform.

“The end goal is to provide access to our courts for those claimants who have asbestos-related lung cancer injuries, supported by occupational asbestos exposure and confirmation of an underlying asbestos related condition such as asbestosis.”


Baseless Lung Cancer Filings Delaying and Depleting Compensation Resources for Legitimate Asbestos Claims: The Need for Medical and Exposure Criteria,” Mealey’s Litigation Report: Asbestos, January 25, 2023


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