Asbestos Litigation Reform Bill Introduced

May 27, 2003

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced asbestos litigation reform legislation last week that is reportedly intended to create a fair and efficient system to resolve claims of victims for bodily injury caused by asbestos exposure.

“The National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) applauds Chairman Hatch for his tenacity in addressing the need for asbestos litigation reform. The business community has been anxiously awaiting legislation, and we hope the momentum will continue with enactment of an asbestos bill this year,” said Carl Parks, senior vice president, government relations.

“NAII will continue to work with Congress to assure the final bill includes medical criteria to determine who is sick, an asbestos allocation plan for the insurance industry that is fair for all affected companies, protection for peripheral/tertiary defendants who are unfairly dragged into asbestos litigation, and provides for finality for all participants in a trust fund program,” added Parks.

NAII reportedly wants to make sure that a trust fund approach doesn’t end up shifting asbestos burdens from highly exposed insurers onto less exposed insurers.

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