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Tsunami lawsuit prompts shelving of Thai study, calls for litigation limits

[JURIST] A lawsuit filed last week [JURIST report] in New York against the Thai government, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a French a hotel chain in connection with the December 26 tsunami in Southeast Asia has prompted the Thai government to withhold findings of a study into the disaster. A Thai seismologist in charge of the study said Wednesday that it was his duty to prevent the disclosure of any information that might be used in attempt to substantiate allegations that the Thai government did not do all it could to warn of the huge tidal wave after its scientists detected it 75 minutes before impact. The UK's Independent has more. Meanwhile, US critics of the litigation have pointed to it as an instance of meritless legal action launched for the financial gain of attorneys that needs to be curbed, and suggested that lawyers bringing such suits should be liable for any econonmic damage or costs they inflict on others. The lawyer who brought the tsunami suit, controversial New York personal injury attorney Edward Fagan [NYLJ report], says he is not getting paid for his work. The suit as it stands does not seek compensation for damages to survivors or relatives of survivors, although that might come later if the defendants in the case are shown to have breached their responsibilties. Reuters has more.

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