The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America has issued the following statement from Carl Parks, senior vice president, federal government affairs, in response to the announcement that negotiations over legislation (S. 2290) to establish a trust fund to compensate victims of asbestos-related illnesses have been suspended.
“PCI and its member companies are deeply disappointed that negotiations to establish a trust fund to compensate victims of asbestos-related illnesses have been suspended. Asbestos litigation has reached crisis proportions in the United States, impacting asbestos producers, users and their insurers, and peripheral defendants. It is imperative that members of Congress reach agreement on a compromise that appropriately compensates ill victims, while reducing transaction costs and providing absolute finality for defendants. PCI and the insurance industry have negotiated in good faith to develop an effective and equitable solution that compensates truly ill victims of asbestos and remain united in our core principles for reform.
“However, despite the progress made during months of negotiations by all parties, it appears that the trust fund approach may not be politically feasible at this time. Unfortunately, the failure of these negotiations means that those most in need will remain uncompensated, American businesses will be subject to potentially devastating lawsuits, job creation in many businesses will be stifled, and abuse of the tort system will continue unabated.
“PCI remains committed to working with congressional leaders, organized labor, and the business community to find a fair and equitable legislative solution to this crisis that addresses the needs of current and future asbestos victims and protects the American economy.”
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