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Archive for November 12th, 2013

ALEC Wants To Scare You Into Never Suing Anyone Over Asbestos Ever Again

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 12, 2013

This is an update of a post I did back in May:

The late Bruce Vento, longtime congressman of Minnesota’s Fourth District, is a legend in Saint Paul, and for all the right reasons. He was a friend of the people and the environment, and the Vento Trail that accesses downtown Saint Paul is named for him.

So when Susan Vento, his wife, writes to me about an important cause, I pay attention:

My name is Susan Vento, and I am writing to you about a cause very close to my heart. My husband, Bruce, was a Democratic member of the US House of Representatives until October 10th, 2000 when he died of pleural mesothelioma––a rare disease caused by asbestos exposure. As of yesterday, asbestos companies began using their political influence to push a new bill into Congress, led by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). It is called the “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act.” On top of mass privacy concerns, this bill would delay and, in some cases, deny justice to people suffering from asbestos-related diseases. The FACT Act marks the beginning of a state-by-state strategy to dismantle the rights of victims.

In the name of so-called “transparency,” the bill places burdensome reporting requirements on victims applying to the bankruptcy trusts. Yet, the companies who knowingly caused the asbestos exposure have no comparable requirements. The legislation is a one-sided and unfair effort designed to harm those who have already been injured. You can find more information on the bill here. This legislation is not an effort to make the legal system more responsive. Instead, it is merely the latest attempt by big companies and individuals like the Koch brothers to avoid responsibility for their heinous wrongdoings.

I just got word from Susan Vento that ALEC’s minions are pushing this bill again. Her comments are below:

Unfortunately this awful, wretched anti-victim/anti-veteran bill is continuing to move through the house (as part of tort reform week). … Again, our campaign site is and the petition to showcase opposition to the FACT Act is here: Pop Tort recently posted a quick highlight here:

You know what to do.


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