Asbestos Bill Likely to Hit Senate Floor Early Next Year

Share Article takes stance on proposed Asbestos Bill. This bill essentially puts a cap on money compensated for asbestos exposed mesothelioma victims'. has decided that the proposed asbestos "trust-fund" bill facing a Senate vote as early as next year is an unfair addition to the legal landscape as well as the United States Justice system. The bill, which has been waiting for a vote since 2003, was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R - TN) in order to save companies from potentially bankrupting lawsuits stemming from asbestos related injuries.

During most of the 20th century, Asbestos was long used in building construction, fireproofing and insulation in residencies and businesses in the United States and the world. Asbestos exposure has been linked to several health problems including the development of a rare and deadly cancer known as mesothelioma. Because the cancer is hard to detect until it is too late, mesothelioma often results in death.

The proposed Asbestos Bill would create a $140 billion trust fund. This would be made up of money from businesses to compensate those who were seeking retribution for their asbestos related injuries. This fund would essentially put a cap on the amount that people would be able to recoup as well as prevent businesses from paying the bulk of the lawsuit money.

Currently, the bill is set up to allow any additional funds over the $140 billion amount to be paid out by the US taxpayers themselves, through government loans. New Hampshire Republican Sen. Judd Gregg and ranking Democrat Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, have called on Sen. Frist to address the issue of where the money would come from once the fund ran out. The two senators have expressed concern that the governmental contribution to the fund would further increase the country's debt, already at its highest level ever at over $8 trillion. is joining the others that are concerned about the asbestos bill as it stops the rights of millions of asbestos sufferers from reclaiming their lives and their rights. By creating a capped trust fund bill to be funded largely by the US government, the responsibility is out of the hands of the businesses that long covered up the hazards of asbestos exposure. These businesses stand to resolve their culpability in their direct negligence and potentially illegal business practices. Due to some harsh critics in the Senate and elsewhere, the passing of the bill is unlikely at this juncture, but still has many proponents in both the Democratic and Republican parties.


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Judie Long
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