Asbestos Litigation

Should Congress try to control the flood of claims?


Asbestos was widely used for decades in the United States even though it was linked to cancer and other serious diseases. Over the past 30 years, people exposed to asbestos have flooded the courts with suits seeking monetary damages for their injuries. Asbestos use has been drastically reduced, but claims continue to increase annually by the tens of thousands. Business groups want Congress to solve the “litigation crisis” that already has cost $54 billion and could cost $210 billion more. One plan would create a $100 billion trust fund to pay victims; another would put a hold on claims from people who are not already sick. Trial-lawyer and labor groups say a trust fund might work if adequately financed, but closed-door negotiations on Capitol Hill ...

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