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Senate Judiciary Committee Passes FAIR Act

WASHINGTON (May 26, 2005)—Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed S. 852, the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act, by a vote of 13-5. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., Chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced S. 852 that would create a privately funded, publicly administered trust fund to provide resources for an asbestos injury claims resolution program. The total amount of the fund would be $140 billion with the insurance industry responsible for $46.025 billion.

The legislation is co-sponsored by Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, Max Baucus, D-Mont., George Voinovich, R-Ohio, Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and David Vitter, R-La.

“We applaud Senator Specter’s dedication and leadership to address the asbestos litigation crisis,” said David A. Winston, NAMIC Federal Affairs Senior Vice President. “The Chairman’s efforts have demonstrated his commitment to those individuals who have been physically harmed from asbestos exposure are fairly and adequately compensated.”

“Throughout the debate, NAMIC has consistently asserted the need for asbestos reform legislation that provides certainty and finality at an affordable cost,” said Winston. “Unfortunately, the bill as reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today fails to address all of NAMIC’s concerns; for example, providing for the exclusive remedy of all asbestos claims.”

“While improvements to the original bill have been made which are necessary, they are not sufficient. NAMIC looks forward to working with the Senate to ensure that this legislation meets all of our objectives while still protecting the interests of the innocent victims,” said Winston.

Posted: Thursday, May 26, 2005 12:00:00 AM. Modified: Friday, May 27, 2005 10:38:11 AM.

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