WLF filed a petition on April 10, 2006, with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) urging the agency to establish a program to receive claims of improper expert testimony by NIOSH-approved experts, known as B readers. WLF urged that the program provide for B readers who give improper expert testimony to be censured or to have their credentials suspended. The petition is in response to evidence that some B readers have been involved in advancing large numbers of unsupported claims of asbestos and silica injuries.
In its petition, WLF argued that the crisis in asbestos litigation (which has led to the bankruptcy of numerous major companies) has been fueled in large part by improper recruitment of claimants. The petition details evidence that unscrupulous plaintiffs’ attorneys frequently retain compliant B readers who will find signs of asbestosis or other asbestos-related conditions whether it is there or not.