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Asbestos Bill Stalls In Congress

WASHINGTON - The asbestos compensation bill (S. 2290, Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2004) has stalled in the U.S. Senate after negotiations between Republican and Democratic leaders broke down. The bill is designed to establish a trust fund, paid into by manufacturers and others involved in asbestos lawsuits, to compensate victims of asbestos exposure. The trust fund would replace the current litigation that is clogging U.S. courts.

According to reports, a retired federal judge attempted to mediate talks between Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., but was unsuccessful. Substantial differences are said to exist still among the political, corporate, insurance, and labor representatives concerned with this legislation.

The current bill was introduced on April 7, after all the involved parties were unable to come to an agreement on a previous version of the legislation (S. 1125, Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2003).

Publication date: 05/17/2004

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