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Bill favors asbestos industry over sick vets, groups say

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United States
01/07/2016 01:14 PM
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Bill favors asbestos industry over sick vets, groups say
Personally I think the corporation responsible need to be held accountable not matter what the cost.

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Veterans comprise the largest segment of the more than three million asbestos-poisoning claims paid out since the 1980s when the federal government began regulating the flame-retardant material and the military stopped using it. Companies that produced asebestos and worked to hide its dangers set up special trusts to pay victims, whose numbers surged in the past decade due to the long delay between asbestos exposure and the development of lung cancer.

“I think it is going to be both a good-government piece of legislation and it is going to preserve the assets of these trusts for veterans, who are the biggest percentage of these claims, and the general public,” said Farenthold, who is the latest Republican lawmaker to float the legislation.

A vote on the House floor was expected either Thursday or Friday. A companion bill was recently filed in the Senate by Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona.

Farenthold said unscrupulous attorneys are “double-dipping” by filing multiple awards for victims and that fraud is threatening to empty the asbestos trusts. About 60 different trusts established across the United States and have paid out more than $17 billion, according to the Government Accountability Office.