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Asbestos Bill Bad for Victims, Bad for Taxpayers

Asbestos Bill Bad for Victims, Bad for Taxpayers
Asbestos Bill Bad for Victims, Bad for Taxpayers

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June 11, 2006
A Senate Judiciary Committee hearing held last week on the re-introduction of the asbestos bill trust fund, which would take away an injured persons right to a civil lawsuit, confirmed concerns that the proposed law was fundamentally flawed.

Todays hearing confirmed once again that this bill is bad for victims, bad for taxpayers, and bad for small business it is nothing more than a $20 million bailout for a handful of large asbestos companies that knowingly poisoned people, said Ken Suggs, President of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), the worlds largest trial bar that promotes fairness and justice for injured parties.

According to former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who was appointed to conduct an analysis of the asbestos bill and provide a professional opinion, the proposed bill is grossly under-funded leading to quick bankruptcy and taxpayer bailout.

This bailout would take the liability of asbestos-related disease from the large corporations and insurance companies and put it on the U.S. taxpayer.

Furthermore, the asbestos trust fund bill would not cover all victims seriously harmed by asbestos exposure, would cause delays in compensation, and bail out the companies who knowingly caused the exposure.

It provides the asbestos industry with a $20 billion, taxpayer-guaranteed bailout after it knowingly poisoned people, while leaving numerous victims with nothing and others facing impossible bureaucratic hurdles, said Suggs.

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