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Asbestos personal-injury litigation is now the longest-running mass tort litigation in United States history. The number of claims arising from both deadly and non-malignant diseases has risen sharply in recent years. This briefing documents the first phrase of a new study on asbestos litigation. It offers preliminary answers to questions on number of lingering issues: How well is asbestos litigation serving injured workers on whose behalf the claims are filed? What is the balance between the compensation that is paid out and the cost to deliver it? What economic costs does asbestos litigation impose on the country, and who bears those costs? Do strategies exist for resolving asbestos suits that would be more efficient and more equitable?

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of the RAND Institute for Civil Justice.

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