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CFIF Praises Senators Specter and Leahy for New and Improved FAIR Act for Asbestos Victims.

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) today praised Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) for introducing a new and improved Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution (FAIR) Act. The Senators introduced this latest version of the FAIR Act on Friday, May 26.

"We applaud Senators Specter and Leahy for reintroducing the FAIR Act," said CFIF President Jeffrey Mazzella. "This vital legislation will ensure that real victims of asbestos exposure are fairly compensated. Just as important, it will put an end to the baseless claims that have inundated our nation's civil justice system."

The FAIR Act establishes a trust fund, financed by corporate defendants of asbestos litigation -- NOT taxpayers -- to compensate those made ill by exposure to asbestos while limiting the actions of trial lawyers. The latest version of the legislation strengthens medical criteria to guard against fraud by claimants to the fund and protects small and medium-sized businesses from financial hardship as a result of their contribution to the trust fund.

"These new provisions have made a good bill even better," said Mazzella. "The only real opposition to this legislation is trial lawyers who have abused the system for far too long for their own monetary gain."

The reintroduction of the FAIR Act comes at a time when the asbestos litigation crisis is just getting worse. Indeed, the U.S. Supreme Court has twice opined that our state and federal courts simply cannot handle the flood of asbestos claims. Real victims of asbestos exposure rarely live to see their day in court. Asbestos litigation has forced more than 75 companies -- many of which had nothing to do with asbestos -- into bankruptcy. As many as 60,000 jobs have been lost, with thousands more at risk. Currently, more than 8,400 businesses are defending themselves against asbestos claims in court.

"Congress must stop pandering to the trial bar and act to end the asbestos litigation crisis in America," continued Mazzella. "The FAIR Act represents a real solution to a problem that continues to spiral out of control."

The Center for Individual Freedom (http://www.cfif.org/) is a nonpartisan constitutional and free-market advocacy organization. Since its inception, CFIF has been a staunch and vocal advocate for civil justice reform.

CONTACT: Hilary Maxwell, +1-202-572-6205, hmaxwell@dcgpr.com, for Center for Individual Freedom

Web site: http://www.cfif.org/
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 31, 2006
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