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Action Alert! Oppose Asbestos Bill S.852; Call your Members of Congress

By Mark Hull-Richter  Posted by Joan Brunwasser (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   No comments
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Of COURSE we help the corporations get out of paying their victims.
That's what corporatism (aka fascism) is all about - seeling out the
citizens (i.e., VOTERS) in favor of the corporations (i.e., rich).

Call you Senators, then your Representative, too. This bill deserves
to die.

Coalition of Groups Holds Press Conference to Oppose Asbestos Bill

WASHINGTON, DC June 3, 2005 A coalition of consumer advocacy,
environmental, and asbestos victims groups held a press conference last
week to oppose S. 852, which had just cleared the Senate Judiciary
Committee. The organizations included: USAction, Public Citizen, the
Environmental Working Group, and the Asbestos Disease Awareness

S. 852 sets up a trust fund for asbestos victims, but deprives them of
the right to a jury trial. Public Citizen has shown how S. 852 benefits
corporations that have made or distributed asbestos products. Under the
trust system, their contributions to those suffering from asbestos
diseases would drop dramatically by over 20 billion. The list of lucky
companies includes at least 10 asbestos product manufacturers that have
filed for bankruptcy plus Dow Chemical, Ford, General Electric, General
Motors, Honeywell, Pfizer, and Viacom. See Proposed Legislation
Benefits Asbestos Companies, Not Asbestos Victims.

The Environmental Working Group has focused on the story of
asbestos-contaminated vermiculite, a substance shipped from the
asbestos-containing mines of Libby, Montana, to plants throughout the
nation. The group points out that people who live near the 200
factories that processed vermiculite will get no special assistance for
their asbestos diseases, unless they have the aggressive cancer,

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), the "voice of
asbestos victims," has repeatedly said S. 852 was constructed without
adequate discussion with those who have asbestos cancers and other
asbestos diseases. "We are sorely disappointed that S. 852 has been
voted out of the Judiciary Committee, " said ADAO President Alan
Reinstein. "It is clear that the victims and their families were not
considered stakeholders" (Press Release, May 31, 2005).

S. 852: Helping Corporations, Harming Asbestos Victims
S. 852 requires that existing asbestos lawsuits be dismissed, even if
trial dates have already been scheduled. Claimants would be required to
apply for help through the trust, and be subject to an unwieldy process
to get their cases heard. Other major problems of the bill include:

Inadequate funding. The asbestos trust fund is likely to run out of
money before it can compensate all those suffering from asbestos
Unfair, outdated medical criteria for determining who has asbestosis,
lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other asbestos diseases.
Arbitrary asbestos exposure requirements.
S. 852, "represents the best of junk science that non-physicians can
come up with," commented Dr. Mike Harbut, a speaker at the press
conference and co-director of the National Center for Vermiculite and
Asbestos-Related Cancers. Dr. Harbut noted that the bill requires
workers with lung cancer and work-related asbestos exposure to show
that they also have asbestos-related lung scarring. Most medical
experts believe that lung scarring is not necessary to show that lung
cancer was caused by contact with asbestos. "This is craziness," Dr.
Harbut said. "The asbestos particle doesn't care if its scars your lung
before it gives you cancer."

"Thousands of people who die each year of asbestos caused lung cancer
will not get a penny from the fund" noted Richard Wiles, senior vice
president of Environmental Working Group Action Fund (Press Release,
May 26, 2005). "There is no reason to deny these people the assistance
they need, other than corporate greed," he added.

Urge Your Senators to Vote NO on S. 852
Brayton Purcell has fought long and hard against S. 852. This
ill conceived bill and others like it bail out asbestos companies, but
harm injured workers and their families. We are very concerned that S.
852 could pass this year. Once again, we ask for your help. Please
telephone or send email to your Senators and urge them to vote NO on S.
852. You can find your Senators' names, emails, and telephone numbers
on the U.S. Senate web site. For the full text of S. 852, see the
Thomas Legislative web site. (Scroll to Bill Number and type in S.

Meanwhile, if you have any questions about your own asbestos exposure
or that of a family member, please feel free to contact us. We have
extensive experience in asbestos litigation, and continue our work to
protect the rights of asbestos victims.

Mark Hull-Richter, U.S. Citizen & Patriot
U.S.A. - From democracy to kakistocracy in one fell coup.
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution
inevitable." - JFK
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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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