While private corporations have certainly been responsible for some amazing scientific breakthroughs, they have also been behind some well-funded attempts to create confusion and scientific uncertainty. As an example, consider just how much money the tobacco industry spent on "scientific" studies trying to show that smoking did not definitively cause lung cancer in millions of tobacco users.
Sadly, the same corporate-funded junk science has hindered the fight against asbestos. According to a report from the Center for Public Integrity, Ford Motor Company has spent close to $40 million funding research to cast doubt on the connection between asbestos once used in its brakes and a higher risk of mesothelioma among auto mechanics. The research was conducted in response to the significant number of mesothelioma lawsuits that Ford was losing.
The majority of Ford's research dollars have been paid to two companies, Exponent and Cardno ChemRisk. In both cases, the papers written by Ford-funded researchers have tried to unsettle scientific findings that have long been settled. In fact, in the last decade alone, 109 experts from 17 different countries have written or signed legal briefs reaffirming the causal link between exposure to asbestos in brakes and the development of mesothelioma.
The CPI report includes quotes from a Duke University researcher who has been studying asbestos for more than 40 years. Commenting on the Ford-funded research, he said: "They’ve published a lot, but they’ve really produced no new science. Fifteen years ago, I thought the issue of asbestos risk assessment was pretty much defined. All they’ve accomplished is to try to generate doubt where, really, little doubt existed."
Unfortunately, these alternative study results have aided defendants in asbestos exposure cases - though not consistently.
If you or a loved one has developed mesothelioma, asbestosis or some other disease as a result of exposure to asbestos, you should know that some corporations would rather spend millions of dollars fighting victims than compensating them. That's why, when you are ready to pursue compensation, you may greatly benefit from the help of a highly skilled mesothelioma attorney.