Litigators of the Week

September 4, 2014 – In The News
Litigation Daily

Jeffrey M. Pollock was featured in the Litigation Daily article, “Litigators of the Week.” Full text can be found in the September 4, 2014, issue, but a synopsis is below.

Jeffrey Pollock together with attorneys with Cohen, Placitella & Roth, led the team that successfully appealed claims of fraud, spoliation and racketeering influenced and corrupt organizations act violations (RICO) on behalf of a group of plaintiffs exposed to asbestos, resulting in a precedential decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Third Circuit revived a class action lawsuit alleging that BASF and its lawyers at Cahill Gordon lied about asbestos contamination, ruling that the defendants can’t invoke litigation privilege. The ruling is likely to be cited for years due to its declaration that attorneys can and should be held liable for egregious misstatements on behalf of clients.

The ruling provides new hope to asbestos claimants who had dropped their previous lawsuits against BASF due to lack of evidence. “Our goal is to put people back in the position they’d be in if BASF and Cahill Gordon had told the truth,” said Pollock.

During oral arguments, Pollock urged the Third Circuit to place limitations on litigation privilege, saying “there is some point where the equitable power of this court to stop fraud does step in.”

The court agreed with Pollock in this week’s ruling, writing that there shouldn’t be immunity for conduct that frustrates the search for truth.