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Lawyers market to potential silicosis victims

Mike Tolson of the Houston Chronicle examined lawsuits related to silicosis, an occupational lung disease caused by exposure to silica which is used by industry in dozens of ways. He found that "To attorneys who had earned millions from asbestos settlements, it represented the next potential windfall." The lawyers did not need sick people, only doctors who would issue diagnoses. In 2002, "one of the smallest states in the country went from 76 new silicosis suits to 10,642. By the end of 2004, the state's total topped 20,000." Tolson also writes about the role of radiologists in the lawsuits.

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