Trouble in The Air

Senate Bill Grants Immunity To Asbestos Companies and Cuts Assistance To Terminally-Ill Asbestos Victims

April 25, 2005

Trouble in The Air: Bill Punishes Young Victims

To avoid running out of money before 2033, the proposed fund reduces the average award to fatal mesothelioma victims by more than half, from $2.2 million currently awarded by the courts and trusts, to the $1.1 million proposed in the fund (Peterson 2004). Assistance is similarly cut to people with asbestos caused lung cancer, other cancers, and asbestosis.

Young mesothelioma victims are hit hardest. The bill's compensation schedule treats young mesothelioma victims who have enormous medical bills, substantial wage loss and dependent children the same way that it treats mesothelioma victims who are well past retirement age without any financial dependents. Data from the CDC show that in the past 25 years at least 4,323 people in their fifties or younger have died of mesothelioma. These people and their families will be devasted financially by the Senate bill.

Senate Bill Cuts Assistance to the Most Seriously Harmed


  Courts/Trusts Senate Proposal
Mesothelioma $2,200,000 $1,100,000
Lung Cancer $400,000 $220,000
Other cancer $160,000 $75,000
Asbestosis $95,000 $25,000


Source: (Peterson 2004)