Network Firm News

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Hatching Asbestos Legislation
Today Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is expected to unveil a measure to end the ceaseless parade of asbestos cases, despite friction between key players. The proposed $108 billion fund would protect insurers and businesses from future suits. Labor groups and plaintiffs' attorneys with ongoing litigation are battling the measure.

Asbestos fund bill may boost insurance stocks
Reuters -- Philip Klein -- New York, 5/21/03
Insurance stocks, which have suffered from a flurry of asbestos-related lawsuits, could get a boost from the introduction on Thursday of a bill in the U.S. Senate that would establish a $108 billion fund to curb litigation and cap liability.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, plans to introduce the bill, under which insurers would pay a combined $45 billion into the fund. The bill could remove uncertainty that insurers have faced over asbestos, as they have paid out billions of dollars in claims to businesses that have been the subject of mounting lawsuits.

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