A recent study comparing x-ray analyses of asbestos-related lung damage revealed some troublesome results. An alarming discrepancy was found between conclusions drawn by physicians (certified experts called B-readers) hired by the plaintiff’s lawyers and those drawn by unaffiliated physicians who reviewed the same x-rays…
The results: the plaintiffs’ B-readers reported that 95.9% of 492 chest x-rays had possible asbestos-related lung damage, the unaffiliated doctors found that only 4.5% of them showed possible damage. The enormous discrepancy between evaluations has called into question the system under which scientific evidence is presented in court cases.
The original study appears in the August 4th issue of Academic Radiology. I’ve written about the problems with junk science evidence in the asbestos litigation, including problems with “B-readers,” here.