Calif. Sen Feinstein Reacts to Asbestos Compensation

April 22, 2005

  • April 23, 2005 at 1:07 am
    Linda Reinstein says:
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    There is nothing FAIR about the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution bills, nor is there anything frivolous about asbestos disease. Imagine that you are a victim dying of mesothelioma because your employer poisoned you on the job. You’ve finally made it through an arduous court battle and are about to receive help with your medical bills when Congress steps in, throws out your settlement, and tells you to get in line and wait while they set up a new bureaucracy.

    Most research cites occupational exposure, but undocumented and misdiagnosed cases from environmental, take-home and unknown exposure are enormously underreported. Americans will suffer from decades of deaths, disabilities and diseases caused from asbestos exposure

    The only truth behind the bill is corporations and their insurers receive billions in guaranteed liability relief. Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization opposes this bill in its current form.

    , Executive Director & Cofounder

  • April 23, 2005 at 11:10 am
    RJ Cunningham says:
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    I have inoperable sarcoma, a deadly cancer. Though probably not related to asbestos, I’m sure I can “find” a cause, in legal terms, for my disease. Also, I remember attending grade school in the 1950’s when asbestos was the most affective fire retardent available and may have saved thousands of lives. Now, however, the producers of asbestos and the institutions which utilized the product are the bad guys. Does that make tort lawyers, therefore, the good guys. I think not. The operable word being “think”, let us leave the emotion behind and move ahead with a well thought out solution so victim can receive their compensation and corporations can continue their operations, which, by the way, employ thousands of people just like you and me.

  • April 25, 2005 at 3:08 am
    Robert says:
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    RJ’s attitude is commendable!

    Having also 1) attended public schools when asbestos was thought to be safe 2) losing a brother to Hodgkins after having been exposured to Agent Orange in S.E. Asia and now 3) working for an insurance company who has to post multi-million dollar asbestos reserves each year for policyholders who have been out of business for over 30 years, I’d like to think I can see both sides.

    The problem with making this another “social” problem is that taxpayers end up footing the bill for a program that will likely collapse under it’s own bureaucratic weight, leaving little, if anything, for the real victims.

    The problem with making this an unlimited private liability issue is that no one understood the possible dangers of asbestos when it was in widespread use so insurance companies didn’t anticipate the exposure (or charge for it at the time). Now, they’re having to collect premium from current policyholders for the inadvertant sins of the past which means we all ultimately pay.

    I’ve actually seen an member of an asbestos class action suit that was a 30 year, 3- pack-a-day smoker who qualified because he stood in a shop directly under an overhead crane with asbestos brake linings for the same 30 years. He was apparently not responsible for his own contribution to his chronic health problems.

    Other than to feed the lawyers, why does everything have to be someone else’s fault?

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