The Proposed Asbestos Bill - A Bagful Of Controversies

The proposed asbestos bill seeks to compensate asbestos exposure victims by setting up a trust fund, grant immunity to businesses by out of court system and resolve pending cases. The asbestos bill is expected to cover past cases and clear the courts.

However, at a gathering of premier asbestos specialists in September 2004, no one believed that the asbestos epidemic was over. Many new cases are expected, as the symptoms are slow to develop and this is the reason why many organizations are raising voices against the validity and effectiveness of the proposed asbestos bill. Research has proved that inhalation of asbestos, a common industrial material, has caused serious diseases including asbestosis and mesothelioma - a malignant cancer.

What Is The Asbestos Bill?
Since the mid-1970s, The United States Congress is attempting to pass the Asbestos Bill to ensure adequate compensation to victims of asbestos exposure. Asbestos related diseases were first highlighted during the passage of the Black Lung Bill. In 1999, the Supreme Court left it to the Congress to pass the asbestos bill ensuring the rights of asbestos exposure victims.

Milestones in Asbestos Bill
Here are some milestones in the passage of asbestos bill.

1999- The Fairness in Asbestos Compensation Act was the Asbestos Bill proposed to form a government body responsible for resolution of asbestos lawsuits out of the court system.

2000- The Asbestos Compensation Act-this asbestos bill attempted to establish an Office of Asbestos Compensation and a Compensation Fund for asbestos victims based on medical criteria. This asbestos bill was sponsored by Sen. Orin Hatch.
2003- The Asbestos Claims Criteria and Compensation Act failed to become a law when the organizations criticized it as being limited to cover the compensation requirements of asbestos victims.

2004- The Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act proposed a creation of $124 billion trust fund. This asbestos bill also criticized as being limited.

What holds up the Asbestos Bill?
Two major obstacles holding up the Asbestos Bill are the size of the trust fund and the criteria defining the victims who can have access to the fund. The people opposing this asbestos bills believe that the trust fund would be inadequate to provide adequate compensation to the asbestos victims. Secondly they believe that the proposed asbestos bill deprive the asbestos victims of their natural right to file lawsuits for compensation.

About The Author:
Kirsten Hawkins is a asbestos and mesothelioma specialist from Nashville, TN. Visit for information on asbestos reform, mesothelioma lawsuit news, and more.

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Kirsten Hawkins