Frist promises action on asbestos legislation in January Chris Buell at 7:06 PM ET
[JURIST] US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist [official website] on Wednesday promised [floor remarks] that long-awaited legislation to establish a $140 billion compensation fund for asbestos [JURIST news archive; EPA backgrounder] victims would top the Senate agenda when it reconvenes in January. Frist said there would be "no more delay," on the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2005 [bill summary], which was co-sponsored by Sens. Arlen Specter and Patrick Leahy. Legislators have been unable to come up with a suitable solution to resolve the hundreds of thousands of asbestos injury claims of those harmed by the carcinogenic material. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid [official website] said that the asbestos legislation was not suitable in its current form and expressed concern over whether a compensation fund created by the legislation would remain viable. A similar concern prompted members of the Senate Budget Committee [official website] to seek a further delay [Reuters report] for the legislation. The bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee [JURIST report] in May, but Frist did not bring it to the Senate floor due to concerns over whether it would have sufficient support. The Senate committee will hold a hearing [hearing notice] Thursday on the issue of projecting future asbestos claims. Reuters has more.
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.