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Hatch Pushing for 'Asbestos Court'
Christopher Smith -- The Salt Lake Tribune -- 6/5/02
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Orrin Hatch made a bid for compromise Wednesday to push forward a proposal to set up an "asbestos court" to compensate thousands of people who have health problems related to the insulating and fireproofing material.
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As drafted, Hatch's "Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act" (FAIR) would supercede existing state and federal asbestos claims laws and result in the dismissal of all pending asbestos lawsuits. Those cases -- 60,000 to 90,000 people file or join asbestos lawsuits annually -- would be refiled with a new "asbestos court" that would dole out compensation checks to people who prove they were exposed to asbestos in a work environment and that they have an asbestos-related disease. The plan would be financed by a $108 billion pool contributed by companies with asbestos liabilities and insurers.