Ray Harron used to like to go to trial. The Bridgeport radiologist has made millions testifying for attorneys filing doubtful asbestos lawsuits.

Even an occasional bad review couldn't stop him from offering well-paid testimony on the witness stand.

Harron was chastised by a Texas judge for his disputed methods; judgments on behalf of plaintiffs were thrown out because of his tainted testimony; he lost his license in seven states, and he took the Fifth before a Congressional investigative committee.

A special judge for mass asbestos litigation is poised to purge West Virginia courts of cases relying on Harron's X-rays.

All of a sudden, though, Harron has developed stage fright. Perhaps it's the new role he would be playing. Instead of an expert witness for the plaintiff, he would be testifying as a defendant.

CSX Transportation filed suit against Harron and Robert Peirce's Pittsburgh law firm, charging a conspiracy to fabricate asbestos suits against CSX. Uncharacteristically disinclined to take the stand, Harron and his co-defendants asked District Judge Frederick Stamp to dismiss the case and Stamp obliged.

"CSX cannot produce evidence sufficient for a reasonable jury to find that CSX relied upon the defendants' alleged fraudulent act," Judge Stamp declared.

Which raises the question: Why have juries if judges like Stamp know ahead of time what the jury will decide?

We think Ray Harron and Robert Peirce deserve their day in court. We think they should be obliged to explain, under oath, the questionable methods used against legitimate, productive American businesses. We think they should be held accountable for any damages done to the reputations and resources of those businesses--not to mention the court system that's been clogged with their big payday law suits.

CSX will ask federal appeals judges to reverse Stamp's dismissal of their fraud conspiracy trial. We hope they do. We want to hear Harron justify his "professional" conduct to an unbiased jury.

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