Comes Out Strong Against Proposed Asbestos Legislation

Share Article today announced its opposition to Asbestos Bill S.852 believing it is under-funded, unworkable, and unconstitutional. today announced its dissenting opinion on the recent asbestos bill soon to come before congress. has reviewed the recent asbestos bill proposed by Sen. Arlen Spector and Sen. Patrick Leahy and has come out strongly against the proposed bill. We believe the bill is unworkable, under-funded, and unconstitutional.

While legislation proposed in Washington, D.C., by Pennsylvania Senator, Arlen Specter, on its face seems to allay many issues regarding litigation over asbestos-related disease, the Asbestos Bill actually raises impossible hurdles for victims and bails out politically well-connected corporations.

Senator Specter acknowledges that he can’t pass a ‘perfect’ bill, but offers little solace to the mesothelioma victims who’ll die before they see any help from the fundamentally flawed asbestos bailout bill approved by the Judiciary Committee.

Every major asbestos victims’ organization opposes this bill, while being supported by the corporate defendants who knowingly poisoned their workers and the public with asbestos and would receive billions of dollars in liability relief.

A few of the fundamental problems with the fund include:

  •     The fund is under-funded by at least $16 billion (according to the CBO) and possibly as much as $49 billion (analysis by asbestos claims expert Mark Peterson) or even $100 billion (Environmental Working Group). Bankruptcy of the fund and taxpayer bailout is likely.
  •     Every single similar government trust fund has failed.
  •     In its current form the fund will immediately be mired in litigation from existing asbestos trusts, insurance companies, small businesses, and the thousands of victims unfairly excluded from the fund.
  •     By moving all pending claims into the fund, the fund is guaranteed to have a huge backlog at startup.
  •     Victims with community exposure and 9/11 victims – even firefighters, police, and emergency workers – are barred from receiving any compensation. The disparity between their treatment and the treatment of similar victims in Libby, Montana is likely unconstitutional.
  •     There is no real sunset process for victims to return to the courts when the fund becomes bankrupt.
  •     While treating unfairly or shutting out those poisoned by asbestos, the companies that poisoned them are rewarded with a multi-billion dollar bailout. plans to inform its readers on the progress of the bill in the senate and the house, throughout the month of January. More information about the bill can be found at Call your local Senator or Congressman and let them know you oppose bill S.852.


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Steve Rinaldi
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