In a legal move that is raising some eyebrows, a company that is frequently associated with mesothelioma is filing a whistleblower lawsuit against one of the country’s most highly respected asbestos disease treatment centers.
BNSF Railway Files Federal Lawsuit Against Center for Asbestos Related Disease
The Center for Asbestos Related Disease (CARD) is located in Libby, Montana, site of the notorious W.R. Grace vermiculite mine responsible for hundreds of mesothelioma and asbestosis deaths and thousands of asbestos-related illnesses. The area’s residents have relied on the center, which opened in 2000, for screening, diagnosis and treatment. Now it is being sued by BNSF Railway, whose rail cars carried the deadly substance from the mines to their destination. BNSF is a frequent defendant in asbestos cases.
According to BNSF, the mesothelioma clinic is overdiagnosing asbestos-related diseases and ordering diagnostic tests that are unnecessary, then billing Medicare and other grant agencies for those tests. The rail company also questions CARD’s extensive use of CT scans and X-rays as part of their diagnostic process. BNSF originally submitted their case for review to the government, asking that they pursue fraud charges against the clinic. That request was denied, so the company is pursuing a whistleblower lawsuit on its own.
Rail Company Defends Lawsuit Against Mesothelioma Clinic
Representatives from the clinic have justified their approach to mesothelioma screening and diagnosis, saying, “All they want to do is hassle CARD. It’s completely cynical.” Their physicians have published significant research in collaboration with doctors from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. They assert that BNSF’s goal in filing the suit is to impugn their reputation and lower their own responsibility for the asbestos-related illnesses in the Libby population that the clinic continues to identify. In response, a BNSF spokesperson said that the company “recognizes the extraordinary impact that Asbestos-Related Disease has had on the [Libby] community” and did not make their decision lightly.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608 to learn how.