Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Quacks And Bucks

No, this isn't about ducks and deer; it's about docs and dollars.

Like one Mississippi doctor who stopped seeing patients and instead spent his medical career in two-minute episodes of X-ray viewing. Dr. Ray A. Harron would look at a lung X-ray, note that it proved exposure to asbestos or silica, and move on to the next X-ray.

For this, he made millions, as his work was pivotal to the litigation mills that churn out questionable lawsuits against mining and manufacturing firms. To understand the scale of the business, consider that Harron personally opined on 75,000 cases, never seeing the patients and rarely appearing in court.

For this work, he now is under investigation, as a Congressional investigation and other city or state investigations into the asbestos/silica lawsuit manufacturing industry get under way.

What's particiularly interesting about Dr. Harron's story is that it's reported by the NYTimes. The story is written with the "presumed guilt objectivity" the right often senses in NYT stories. Now it's directed not at corporate America, but legal America.

About time.