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Asbestos victims have been granted access to justice after presenting evidence that a corporate defense firm enabled its client to hide and destroy documents that showed their product contained deadly asbestos, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on September 3, 2014.
In the case, Kimberlee Williams, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC, et al., victims offered evidence that the defense firm, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, fabricated false documents to support BSAF’s cover-up. BSAF, previously known as Englehard Corp, produced talc that was used in wall board, automobiles, dusting agents, and even children’s balloons. According to the victims’ complaint, this talc was laden with asbestos, but Cahill conspired with BASF to destroy evidence and fabricate false documents in order to prevent victims poisoned and killed by the asbestos from holding the corporation accountable in court. The victims further allege that as a result of Cahill and BASF’s fraud, victims were forced into unfair settlements, or were completely unable to file a claim against the corporation.
The Third Circuit’s decision reverses and remands a 2012 district court decision dismissing the case, and grants victims the opportunity to prove their allegations in court. In its opining, the court rejected the defense’s argument that the victims’ allegations were “conclusory and implausible”: