CSX Awarded Triple Damages on Allegations of Fraudulent Asbestos Claims

The U.S. District Court in the Northern District of West Virginia recently tripled a jury’s near $430,000 jury verdict pursuant to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) against two former members of Pittsburgh’s Robert Peirce & Associates, an asbestos plaintiff’s firm, and radiologist Ray Harron.

CSX Transportation brought suit five years ago alleging that attorneys Robert Peirce and Louis Raimond conspired with Harron, who lost his medical license in 2007 amid accusations of fraudulent diagnoses, to manufacture hundreds of claims, eleven of which were presented at trial. On September 25, 2013, the District Court Judge granted CSX’s motion to triple the jury verdict to $1,287.721.41. The court has not yet ruled on CSX’s request for legal fees in excess of $10 million.

In the ever expanding world of asbestos litigation, it would be foolish to believe that Peirce, Raimond and Harron were the only ones manufacturing fraudulent claims. However, CSX’s strategy and substantial damages may serve as a model for other asbestos defendants that feel they are the victim of predatory firms or fraudulent claims in the future.


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