Asbestos Bill, S.B. 1125, Is a Sham, Construction Worker Says

New Bill Protects Corporations, Not Those Injured by Asbestos

August 19, 2003-The Hatch asbestos bill, S.B. 1125, is a "sham" that protects corporations by excluding many asbestos victims from getting fair compensation, according to Bill Yund, a Pennsylvania construction worker. At the same time, the bill reduces the amount of money for those who meet its rigid medical criteria. In aninsightful essay, Mr. Yund gives his views about the dangers of this bill and how it would effect working people, especially those in the construction trades.

He also writes about the shameful tactics that S.B. 1125 supporters have used to try to obtain the bill's passage. One strategy has been to unfairly blame less injured asbestos victims for depriving asbestos lung cancer and mesothelioma patients of justice. He calls this a "divide and conquer" method, "designed to turn victim against victim."

He makes these basic points about S.B. 1125's provisions, which remain valid after the bill was amended by the Senate Judiciary Committee:

  • Non-medically based statistics are used to justify disqualifying many legitimate and disabled victims.
  • All levels of compensation for asbestos victims are severely reduced from current awards.
  • The bill's medical claim requirements are often flawed and unrealistic.
  • The fund for asbestos victims is inadequately financed.

Some more specific details cited by Mr. Yund may have been revised. For more information, check the current version of the bill on the Thomas Legislative site. (Scroll to Bill Number, and search on S.B. 1125).