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Byline: BETSY MCCAUGHEY ** Betsy McCaughey
Imagine suing your employer because you fear you'll get cancer. Suing and winning big when it's not even certain you'll ever get it.
It's been happening in thousands of asbestos-related lawsuits. The results? Billions of dollars in awards and 57 companies in bankruptcy. And more to come.
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that railroad workers who were exposed to asbestos on the job and have asbestosis, a nonfatal condition with shortness of breath, may sue for mental anguish because they fear developing a far more serious disease, lung cancer.
The railroad had challenged any award based on fear. But Justice Judith Ginsburg, writing for the majority, argued that common law permits a …