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Asbestos Hearing Scheduled in Senate

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday, June 4, 2003 on "Solving the Asbestos Litigation Crisis." Chairman Hatch recently...
May 27, 2003

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday, June 4, 2003 on "Solving the Asbestos Litigation Crisis." Chairman Hatch recently introduced S. 1125, the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2003. The hearing will address this legislation and its effectiveness as a solution to the growing problem of asbestos litigation. A full committee mark-up of the legislation will likely follow very quickly, as there is a sense of urgency surrounding this legislation.

S. 1125 establishes a trust fund to pay claimants. The amount in the trust fund is roughly $108 billion, of which insurers will contribute roughly $45 billion. The bill also establishes medical criteria to determine who is eligible to receive compensation from the trust. The bill is already drawing fire from organized labor. AFL-CIO President John Sweeny called it "a major step backward."

What it Means for Agents:  As agents, it is unlikely that we will be directly affected by this legislation. It is important, however, that we support the companies in their efforts to ensure that any legislation that passes will solve the problem.

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