Report says that industry losses to asbestos lawsuits increased

According to a new report by A.M. Best & Co. (a statistical organization), the financial losses felt by U.S. industry as a result of asbestos-related lawsuits increased in 2012 by 12 percent. That shows a stark change to what happened in 2011, when losses related to such lawsuits declined 31 percent.

The report also seemed to be implying that there were two key reasons for this increase in losses: that more people were filing such asbestos-related lawsuits, and that these lawsuits have been more successful. It is an interesting way to frame the report, basically saying that the victims are partially to blame for this increase industry losses.

But who is really to blame here? The people who are seeking needed compensation for the medical conditions they are dealing with because some building they worked in carried dangerous and hazardous materials? Or the industry that owns, operates and maintains those buildings, and has a duty to make sure the buildings are safe for the people who enter?

And another thing: do you think the people who have been victimized by inadequate working spaces and dangerous materials care if “the industry” sees an increase in lawsuit-related losses? People are hurting, and many may not have many years left because of horrible medical conditions that were dealt to them because of asbestos. In addition, as the dangers of asbestos are more widely-known now, there will inherently be an increase in action regarding the substance. Buildings that have it will be discovered; owners and managers who cover it up will be highlighted; and the victims of these circumstances have every right to seek justice.

Source: Insurance Journal, “Insurers’ Asbestos, Environmental Losses Rose 12% in 2012,” Nov. 18, 2013