Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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December 21, 2012

W.Va. doctor, Penn. lawyers guilty of racketeering

WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — A federal jury has found a West Virginia radiologist and two Pittsburgh attorneys guilty of conspiring to fabricate asbestos claims.

The Wheeling jury on Friday ordered attorneys Robert Peirce and Louis Raimond and radiologist Ray Harron to pay CSX Transportation more than $429,000, which could be tripled because they were convicted of civil racketeering charges.

Harron diagnosed tens of thousands of asbestos claims for the attorneys. In 2007, he agreed to stop practicing in Texas, where he was under investigation by that state's Medical Board for thousands of questionable diagnoses of the lung disease silicosis.

CSX sued in 2005, claiming Kentucky railroad worker Earl Baylor was fraudulently diagnosed with asbestosis. The case was briefly thrown out before being reinstated by a Virginia federal appeals court.

The trial began Dec. 11.

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