The Coalition for Asbestos Reform Takes Issue with FAIR Act Supporters

February 3, 2006

The Coalition for Asbestos Reform (C.A.R.) responded Thursday to the press conference held by Senators Specter and Leahy, in which they reportedly struggled to demonstrate support for S.852 the Asbestos
Trust Fund bill.

“We were struck more by who wasn’t at this rally, than by who was,” said Thomas O’Brien, chairman of C.A.R. “Glaringly absent were the major corporations who helped draft this bill and stand to reap billions of dollars in benefits if it is enacted. Where was USG, a company that just this week revealed that the bill is worth $3 billion to them?”

Members of C.A.R., which includes smaller companies and their insurers, is strongly opposed to the legislation in the belief that the measure would allow large corporations to dump their asbestos liability onto smaller and medium- sized companies who have not had the resources to make their voices heard in Washington.

“With the very existence of several smaller and medium-sized companies at risk,” O’Brien continued, “we urge the Senate to reject this unfair legislation.”

Many defendant companies, like the members of C.A.R., believe the legislation would be devastating to them. The insurance industry reportedly is virtually united against it. Many labor unions are reportedly opposed. According to C.A.R., conservative groups like Freedom Works and the National Taxpayers Union are opposed. Public Citizen and most victims groups oppose it, as well.

O’Brien added, “Before casting their vote, we urge the rest of the U.S. Senate to question the most striking aspect of today’s press conference — who was not in the room?”

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