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In the summer of 2006, manufacturers of a simple respirator mask costing US$1 told the U.S. Congress that Americans would find a shortage of these masks if there was another flu pandemic. The reason for this was that suing the makers of these dust masks became a major business for trial lawyers. By 2006, there had been more than 326,000 lawsuits filed. It has been reported in many cases that the law firms worked with cooperative physicians and contracted with X-ray labs to screen individuals for lung problems. If an individual had an abnormal lung X-ray and claimed that they had used a certain brand of respirator and the manufacturer was still in business and had economic resourcesa lawsuit was filed. Some manufacturers went out of business while others simply stopped making the masks.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2012