NLPC Pleased with Senate Judiciary Committee’s Passing of Asbestos Trust Fund Legislation

May 27, 2005

The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) applauded this week’s passage of the asbestos trust fund legislation. Ken Boehm, chairman of the NLPC, released the following statement:

“In approving the asbestos trust fund legislation, the Senate Judiciary
Committee has taken a huge step towards injecting sanity and justice into the process of compensating asbestos victims. The legislation introduced by Senator Arlen Specter would insure that the real victims of asbestos exposure are compensated promptly and fairly from a trust fund financed by defendant corporations and insurance companies.

“If passed by Congress, this legislation would end the circus of runaway asbestos litigation that has amply rewarded a handful of lawyers while leaving thousands of desperately sick people with a fraction of the compensation they deserve. This abuse of the legal system has already driven at least 70 corporations into bankruptcy and jeopardized thousands of American jobs as the volume of class-action suits filed increases each year, targeting companies that never made asbestos or even used it in a meaningful way.

“It is nothing short of a national scandal that unscrupulous lawyers have clogged the courts with over 730,000 asbestos claims, 90 percent of them on behalf of claimants who have no asbestos-related health problems. Meanwhile, justice is delayed and denied for truly ill people, some of whom have died waiting for their day in court. The Judiciary Committee’s action has brought us closer to ending this sorry chapter in American jurisprudence and just might put America on the road to tort reform.”

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