JURIST Sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh
Serious law. Primary sources. Global perspective.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Asbestos compensation fund bill killed by Senate budget objection
Bernard Hibbitts at 7:34 PM ET

[JURIST] US senators late Tuesday failed to overcome an objection effectively killing a bill designed to avoid costly asbestos litigation by creating a special fund to compensate asbestos victims [JURIST news archive]. The objection, raised by Senator John Ensign (R-NV) [official website] and supported by fiscal conservatives [FreedomWorks press release], invoked a budgetary rule barring legislation that would up US government spending by more $5 billion in any of four decades after 2016. Senator Arlen Specter, a co-sponsor of the bill, insisted that the rule did not apply because the monies supporting the fund would come from private companies and would simply be funneled through the government, but Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist said he would withdraw the bill for the current session if those supporting an exception to the budget rule could not muster 60 votes. The vote for an exception was 58-41 [Senate roll call] with 1 senator abstaining.

The Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act [PDF text; bill summary] was opposed by insurance companies [Insurancenewsnet report] that argued it would not effectively end litigation, trial lawyers who saw it as a bailout depriving clients of their right to sue for damages [ATLA resources], and by smaller sized companies that said they were being asked to shoulder too much of the fund's financial burden [NYT report]. The Congressional Budget Office [official website; asbestos legislation resources] advised senators Monday night in a letter [PDF] that the fund would not add to the federal deficit, but it had concluded in a previous study [PDF] that it was underfinanced and could be forced to borrow money. Bloomberg has more.

Link |  | print | subscribe | RSS feeds | latest newscast | Facebook page

For more legal news check the Paper Chase Archive...


 UK to introduce laws to eradicate female genital mutilation
9:43 AM ET, July 23

 Recruitment of child soldiers persists in DRC: UN report
8:37 AM ET, July 23

 Kuwait top court upholds 10-year sentence for Twitter user
7:09 AM ET, July 23

 click for more...

Get JURIST legal news delivered daily to your e-mail!


Unprecedented Notice of Warrantless Wiretapping in a Closed Case
Ramzi Kassem
CUNY School of Law


Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.


Paper Chase welcomes comments, tips and URLs from readers. E-mail us at JURIST@jurist.org