Baltimore Struggles With Massive Backlog of Asbestos Cases
The Wall Street Journal listeners. Come from all walks of life and business and no matter what type of business urine eighty P is here to help you achieve what you're working looking for with. HR talent time benefits and payroll informed by data and designed for people learn more at design don ADP DOT com the US legitimizes Israeli settlements in the West Bank Baltimore struggles with with a backlog of nearly thirty thousand best does cases a specification has been going on for decades now more than thirty years and so a lot of these cases have been sitting around if you can believe it for much of that time and people get sick with the flu on purpose. One was a mom with six kids who works part time she was like am. I am kind of enjoying the break so for different reasons. It's Monday November. Eighteenth this is the PM edition of what's News From The Wall Street Journal. I'm Anne Marie tolley tolley and New York Secretary of State Mike Pompeo it says the US will no longer consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Illegal the move formalizes a shift in decades of US policy much of the international community considers all Israeli settlement activity to be illegal Palestinian cited as a primary obstacle to peace. The announcement comes as Israel is struggling to form a new government Prime Minister Benjamin. Netanyahu had pledged to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank. But Netanyahu failed to form a new government after September's elections his opponent. Benny Ganz has until Wednesday to do so. A standoff between protesters and police at Hong Kong University has extended into a second night late. Monday police allowed a group of high school principals to enter the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus. To get kids under the age of eighteen out without being arrested they emerged early Tuesday with about thirty students and dozens more emerged later. A few hundred protesters still remain on campus earlier on Monday Monday. Police fired tear gas pepper. Bullets and water cannons at protestors who jumped rail links trying to leave campus. Protesters hurled bricks the university confrontation in has marked an escalation and tactics for what began as a largely peaceful movement. More than five months ago for the latest developments. Please head to our website. wsj.com Tom or the W S J APP top lawyer for the House of Representatives said the impeachment inquiry into president trump could include evidence from former special counsel Robert Robert Muller's investigation into election interference in federal court. Monday Douglas Letter. The House General Counsel said Democratic lawmakers want access to Investigative Ed materials to see whether trump lied in his written answers to Muller's office. He said one of the reductions in Muller's report raised questions about the president's truthfulness in in a tweet on Monday. The president said he would consider testifying in the impeachment probe despite calling it a witch hunt public hearings in the inquiry continue on Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday Wall Street Journal listeners. Come from all walks of life and Dan Business and no matter what type of business you're in eighty P is here to help you achieve what you're working for with. HR talent time benefits in payroll informed by data and designed for people learn more at designed don ADP DOT com. The city city of Baltimore has nearly thirty thousand s best does cases pending lawsuits against insulation makers installers and other companies over illnesses related to breathing Anastos best dose including lung cancer. It's one of the largest backlogs of his best does litigation in the country. Now the courts have come up with a plan to chip away at those cases within five years ears but not everyone's on board joining me now with more details is Wall Street Journal. Reporter Sara Randazzo Sue. Sarah can you start by telling us how Baltimore ended up with. It's such an extensive backlog of Asbestos Litigation yes so especially litigation has been going on for decades now more than thirty years and so a lot of these cases have been sitting around if you can believe it for much of that time and so that the city has had a pretty aggressive plaintiff's bar in terms of attorneys there who have filed quite a number of of lawsuits each year and then they've continued to build on each other and build up much quicker than they've been getting resolved and unlike a lot of other court systems. Baltimore has a lot of cases is filed by people who don't have cancer who have other types of illnesses like respiratory illnesses and so I think that has also contributed to a higher number there than in some other places that focused more on missile. Theo Ma lung cancer and some of the bar serious illnesses tied to a specis. So tell us more about the city's plan to clear this backlog. Yeah so they finally decided a few years ago we need to get rid of these thirty thousand cases. There's no point having them sit around and so they've been calling up five hundred cases each month the UM starting this summer and basically saying here's the five hundred we pick this month lawyers. Go back to your clients. Get the paperwork. You need do everything you can to prove whether these cases there's still viable and so for a lot of attorneys. This is now meant that. Suddenly they have hundreds of clients to track down each month. But this is the system the court has put in place to to try to move through these and the plan does have some powerful opponents as you write including Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angeles whose law firm has also filed a majority of the state's newest estes cases. What is the primary objection? That's right yeah. So the Angelos firm told the court in May that that this five hundred a month is too aggressive and that they could handle no more than one hundred seventy five a month and they said this is because it takes a lot of time to track down witnesses and the clients themselves and get everything queued up for these cases Um I and so mainly. They're saying that it's just a little too aggressive but at the same time they've also complained over the years that calling cases to court one by one takes too long for justice to be served IRV. So they're kind of making to counter arguments at the same time but what the firm mostly wants is the ability to rip together the vast majority of its cases into one big settlement or resolve it all at once rather than do this one by one system the court has set up. So where does that leave the city of Baltimore. How is this going to be resolved? Yes so right now now. The court is proceeding with its plan. the Angeles Firmin's mothers are talking to the legislature to try to see if they will intervene. But there's no pending bill or anything thing on the table just yet so when the Maryland legislature goes back into session in January. It'll be interesting to see if they take any steps to to change this but for now the court is moving ahead with its five hundred a month plan. We'll see if that starts to clear out the backlog Sarah Harris bestest cases typically handled in other states across the country. Don't just a minority of them go to trial that's right and yeah and really they could probably be set of any type of litigation but a definitely an assessed is. There are trials that happened but the vast majority either either settle while they're going through the motions filing motions with the court or they reach settlements out of court. That's Wall Street Journal reporter Sara Randazzo. Thank you so so much. Thanks for having me. It's flu season and most of us are trying to avoid wade getting sick with flu shots and hand sanitizer and whatever else works but would you ever consider getting the flu on purpose. Some people did as part of a federally funded funded study aimed at developing better vaccines. Our SUMATI ready spoke with participants who were injected with the virus and spent some time in isolation to let researchers. I see what happened. She joined now in our studio in New York with more details so soon with a you wrote about people who willingly got the flu. Why would anyone do that? Very good question. Believe it or not. There's actually a lot of interest in this study I think they said they got two thousand or more people who who were interested and they only had spots for eighty so I think the researchers were a little surprised on. There is compensation it's like twenty five hundred to thirty three hundred depending on the site. I thought about amount of money for ten days study but they actually also found that you know there are people were Lake Coa part time jobs or who have a lot of flexibility there one guy interviewed was a writer later. So you know he spent so you can write from the place where he's going. Another one was a mom with six kids who works part-time. She was like hey. I'm kind of enjoying the break. So everyone had their different reasons for sort of being interested in so it was a break from her kids to get the flu so tell me you talk to them after they went through this experience. What was that like? Actually some of them were were. The two I met. Were actually in middle of the experience. They had just been exposed to a strain of the virus that morning so they weren't feeling symptomatic yet. I talked to one woman who had completed the process and she was able to reflect a little bit on it and and mentioned that she didn't like a lot of people she didn't get to persist the strain. They picked as a pretty moderate dough so they say some people won't feel any symptoms and others will feel minor symptoms. You know a little cold but most of them. Don't get fevers. Tell us more about what the actual setting where they're being monitored as like sure there's four different sites. They're all a little bit different but they're sort of. I described sort of a slash between between hotel in a hospital room so in some sites they have private rooms with their own bathrooms actually in Saint Louis University of Saint Louis who they used to call it hotel influenza battle exercise room. They had a game room a lot of them have ping pong tables pool tables. They want you know. People are basically trapped here for ten days but they want them to have sort of enjoyable bulls as much as they can they cater food. Food is a big deal so try to get food from local restaurants and When I went to University of Maryland they had yoga teacher coming in every day? They had a masseuse coming in. One wants to do like chair massages so they're trying to make a pleasant as much as they can. So what can studies like this. Tell us so. The the aim of this study is to produce a better longer lasting flu vaccine. Is You know the flu vaccine only lost a year changes annually early so every year we have to flu vaccine and this is a huge problem. Less than half of Americans get the flu vaccine and the other big problem is that it's not very effective. You know every every year people get the vaccine and they saw a lot of people still get the flu so these two things are big problems and scientists really wanNA create a sort of more effective in longer-lasting vaccine and give us a bit of the context. Here it does seem that we're seeing more cases of the flu. I think it's more a problem of different. Strains of the flu and one is called H H three unto which is produced more serious illness. In the past few years we've had seasons that have been predominantly h the into that tends to lead to more hospitalizations and deaths chiefs particularly for older people. I think that's why there's been sort of this more flu like alarm bells with the flu. That's Wall Street. Journal reporter Sumati Ready Joining here in our studio in New York. Thanks much sympathy. Thanks later this week. Ten presidential hopefuls will take the stage in Atlanta for the next democratic debate. The Wall Street Journal has been interviewing. The candidates says the twenty twenty election season. Ramps up our John. McCormick sat down with Minnesota senator. Amy Klobuchar to talk about. How A two thousand seven fatal bridge collapse in Minneapolis inspired her infrastructure investment unplanned? It was literally eight blocks from my house. And as I said that day bridge just doesn't fall down in the middle of America but when it does we rebuild it and the two do things I came out of that with was number one Infrastructure needs to be fixed all over this country and then number two Was this incredible. The sense of community for our full series of videos with Democratic presidential candidates visit wsj.com Ford Slash video and. That's what's news for this Monday Monday afternoon. I'm Anne Marie for totally for the Wall Street Journal. Thanks for listening.