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Baron & Budd, Fighting for What’s Right
One of the original and predominant law firms in asbestos litigation
Most people know that Baron & Budd is among the largest and most accomplished plaintiffs’ law firms in the country. With more than forty years of experience, Baron & Budd has proven time and time again that it has the expertise and resources to handle complex litigation throughout the United States.
But what people might not know is how the firm got its start. Here is a look at how it all began and some of the significant accomplishments achieved by its attorneys along the way.
Representing Those Who Can’t Speak for Themselves
Founded in 1977, Baron & Budd began its push to champion the rights of people and communities injured by corporate malfeasance by filing some of the first asbestos lawsuits in the nation. Russell W. Budd, one of the firm’s founders, and president and managing shareholder since 2002, has devoted his entire career to righting the wrongs inflicted on workers and consumers by greedy and negligent corporations.
It started with filing suit against the manufacturers of asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that sheds microscopic fibers into the air, which can cause disease and cancer if inhaled or ingested. The tiny fibers become lodged in the linings of the lungs and other organs, where they can fester for years as scar tissue slowly builds up around them. This constant inflammation can, over a decade or more, eventually develop into an asbestos disease, such as asbestosis or mesothelioma cancer, an aggressive and incurable malignancy that grows, frequently undetected, until it is too late. Once diagnosed, mesothelioma swiftly kills its victims, often in less than a year.
Most asbestos manufacturers learned early on that asbestos had the potential to cause incurable disease and cancer. A few quickly abandoned use of the toxic substance, pivoting to other, less hazardous materials. But some companies chose to conceal evidence that asbestos was dangerous, hiding data often unearthed by their own doctors and scientists. It was more important for them to maximize profits by continuing to sell goods made with widely abundant and inexpensive asbestos than to switch to higher-priced, but safer alternatives for the good of all.
This patent disregard for human life and safety, even toward their own employees, forms the basis of all asbestos litigation against ruthless manufacturers and distributors of asbestos products. There are laws to protect consumers against unreasonable risk of injury and death associated with the products they buy and use. Federal regulations entitle workers to a safe workplace – free of known toxins and health hazards. The lawyers at Baron & Budd made it their mission to bring irresponsible asbestos companies to justice.
Significant Victories for Clients
Over the past four decades, Baron & Budd has played a significant role in asbestos litigation on a national level. The firm has successfully resolved the claims of more than 100,000 asbestos victims against some of Wall Street’s biggest companies.
In one particularly significant outcome, the lawyers at Baron & Budd successfully negotiated a $4 billion national settlement with asbestos manufacturer and distributor Halliburton, one of the world’s largest providers of products and services for the energy industry. The settlement established a trust fund to protect present and future asbestos victims throughout the United States – the largest asbestos trust fund of its kind anywhere in the world.
Baron & Budd’s skilled lawyers also served on the committee that negotiated a $3.9 billion settlement with United States Gypsum, a major manufacturer of asbestos home-building products, to benefit asbestos claimants. And the firm participated in negotiations that led W.R. Grace, a maker of Zonolite asbestos attic insulation and other asbestos insulating products, to fund a bankruptcy trust for asbestos claimants with nearly $3 billion in cash and stock equity.
Fighting all the Way to the Top
Probably the firm’s proudest moments in asbestos litigation were when its attorneys led the fight for victims’ rights in two landmark Supreme Court victories, Ortiz v. Fibreboard Corp., in 1997 and Amchem Products v. Windsor in 1999. Both cases are still widely recognized as among the most significant appellate decisions for consumer rights ever determined.
The relative rarity of the disease makes receiving a diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma all the more devastating. Documenting how someone was exposed to asbestos is a critical first step in determining whether a case can be filed against the asbestos manufacturers who failed to issue warnings about its deadliness.
Choosing a law firm with extensive experience, a track record of success for its clients, and a reputation for the tenacity to take a case all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary, gives asbestos victims assurance that they have chosen the very best legal representative possible for their own asbestos case. Contact Baron & Budd online or call at 855-280-7664 to learn more about the legal options available to victims who have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma or asbestos lung cancer.