Litigation: The Asbestos Pit

An old issue is back, and the lawsuits are killing shares

Ronald Huber spent 35 years as a steelworker, breathing in asbestos particles he never saw. In 1995, recruited by personal-injury lawyers he had never met, he joined a class action against 200 companies that made or distributed asbestos or products made with it. At the time, the only detail that really seemed to matter was that the lawyers were giving Huber a shot at what would become a $140 million settlement.

Yet Huber, who claims he is suffering from an asbestos-related illness, maintains that he never saw a dime. So on Feb. 7 he joined 2,644 other plaintiffs in another class...

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