Science and Law
22nd July 2015

New Report: Revolution in Molecular Biology to Drive Major Change in Asbestos Litigation

Revolutionary advances in molecular biology, coupled with demographic and social trends, and new legal developments are expected to trigger an increase in mesothelioma and asbestos-related insurance claims. And according to co-author Bill Wilt (President of Assured Research), the insurance industry’s track record on reserving for asbestos claims is dismal.

New Report: Revolution in Molecular Biology to Drive Major Change in Asbestos Litigation

Innovative Science Solutions and two partner organizations – Assured Research and the LSP Group – have just released a new report: New Science and Law in Asbestos Litigation: A Multi-Disciplinary Look at Change and Future Directions.

Revolutionary advances in molecular biology, coupled with demographic and social trends, and new legal developments are expected to trigger an increase in mesothelioma and asbestos-related insurance claims. And according to co-author Bill Wilt (President of Assured Research), the insurance industry’s track record on reserving for asbestos claims is dismal. This state-of-the art review challenges insurance analysts and executives to ask more in depth questions about the need for new actuarial models in light of the growing litigation impact of the revolution in molecular biology.

We are in the midst of a revolution in scientific, legal, and medical trends that could reshape the asbestos landscape.

Our new report explores advancements in biomarker science, among other scientific advancements, concluding that the next few years will bring earlier and more reliable detection of mesotheliomas and other cancers.


Some may be surprised to see research on another wave of asbestos claims. But “change” has certainly been the one constant across the five decades of asbestos litigation, and which is far from being over. Importantly, noise generated by various interest groups distracts from the core reality that mesotheliomas in the US are not falling at previously predicted rates. Accordingly, it’s not just science that is changing. Rather, some statutes of limitations are going through repeal or are being overturned as denials of human rights. In other words, the legal landscape is shifting concurrently with the revolution in molecular biology.

Notably, a scientific study published this week shows a somewhat increased risk of lung cancer in asbestos exposed individuals with a specific genetic mutation. While the new study by itself does not provide full or final answers on the topic, it does highlight the fact that scientists are conducting research that may well change litigation outcomes. Thus, insurers, risk managers, and lawyers risk being caught off-guard if they fail to invest in tracking and understanding developments in the science.

The report also highlights the fact that too many insurers appear to be relying on outdated actuarial models or are reluctant to invest the time and resources to stay abreast of these scientific developments. In that case, some insurance companies could be blindsided in the years ahead which forecasts a multi-billion reserve deficiency for the industry.

The report is composed of three major sections as follows:

Section 1 – Significant Recent Events in Asbestos, Law, Science and Data
Covers recent events specific to asbestos, including new data about asbestos use and asbestos-related diseases, as well legal events.

Section 2 – Genomics, Cancer and Asbestos: The Big Picture

Focuses on genomics, cancer and asbestos. Advances in molecular biology have made it is increasingly easy, fast and inexpensive to identify and measure objective molecular data related to mesotheliomas and other cancers.

Section 3 – Tail Risk Evident in Estimating Mesothelioma Cases; Depleted Reserves Plague Insurance Companies

Focuses on the insurance and its dismal record of reserving for expenses for asbestos litigation. Overall, we estimate the insurance industry is under-reserved for asbestos-induced mesothelioma claims by between $7 and $13 billion.

The report, New Science and Law in Asbestos Litigation: A Multi-Disciplinary Look at Change and Future Directions has been published and can be purchased on the Assured Research website for a fee.

You can also download a report overview and detailed table of contents by following the link below.

Asbestos White Paper CTA

 

Recent Related Articles

Dr. David Schwartz’s IADC Presentation: The Use of Genetic Testing in the Courtroom [Download Slides]
15 July 2020
Dr. David Schwartz’s IADC Presentation: The Use of Genetic Testing in the Courtroom [Download Slides]

On Wednesday July 8, 2020, Dr. David Schwartz of Innovative Science Solutions presented at the IADC 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting on a panel titled The Use of Genetic Testing in the Courtroom. A complimentary copy of the panel presentation is now available for download. Read more

The Use of Genetic Testing in the Courtroom: Dr. David Schwartz will be Presenting at the IADC 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting
02 July 2020
The Use of Genetic Testing in the Courtroom: Dr. David Schwartz will be Presenting at the IADC 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting

Dr. David Schwartz of Innovative Science Solutions will be presenting at the IADC 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting on a panel titled The Use of Genetic Testing in the Courtroom. Read more

WEBINAR ANNOUNCEMENT: What’s in Those Genes?
12 June 2020
WEBINAR ANNOUNCEMENT: What’s in Those Genes?

Genetic Evidence Concerning Causation for Mesothelioma 16 June 2020 at 2pm Eastern Daylight Time. Read more

Talc and Asbestos Defendants Should Monitor and Utilize Published Studies Linking Mesothelioma to Genomic Causes
28 April 2020
Talc and Asbestos Defendants Should Monitor and Utilize Published Studies Linking Mesothelioma to Genomic Causes

Plaintiff experts having been asserting for decades that all mesotheliomas must be linked to some asbestos exposure. Indeed, this has led to the erroneous (but widespread) view that mesothelioma is a signature disease, only caused by asbestos exposure. Read more

Let’s work together

The journey to scientific and commercial success is often complex and always critical, if you are looking for an expert partner to help steer you to confident solutions, contact us today

Contact us