The judge overseeing discovery in the 99,000 asbestos cases pending in Philadelphia’s federal court said he wants to wrap up the nearly 16-year-old multidistrict litigation by resolving claims rather than investigating possible fraud.

Asbestos defendants have been gearing up to challenge asbestos plaintiffs’ use of screening companies and doctors to build client inventories since the federal judge presiding over the silica products multidistrict litigation in Texas issued a blistering rebuke in June 2005 of bogus silica claims diagnoses — many by the same doctors.

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