In 2005, Sen. Arlen Specter attemped to take justice from the people and court systems and put it in the hands of corporations and insurance companies.
This may be a simplistic view of S.852, (Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act, 2005)but it's not entirely inaccurate. The bill, designed to alleviate all further asbestos injury claims, attempted to establish a trust fund that pay out all future claims. What Sen. Specter and his well-funded cronies didn't tell you however, is that the bill was dramatically underfunded and provided enough tax relief to liable companies and their insurers that their contributions would be more than covered.
The bill assigned specific amounts to be paid out, depending on the severity of diagnosis. This included minor amounts for patients of minor breathing problems associated with asbestos exposure and up to $1 million for patients diagnosed with mesothelioma, an aggressive and incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Compensation was to be determined catergorically, as opposed to a fair trial to determine what victims deserve.
This allowed corporations and insurance companies to wash their hands of this ugly chapter, in which many were well aware that they were killing their employees but failed to alert them as to the danger of asbestos.
S.852 failed to pass, after being narrowly defeated in the Senate. The bill, however, should serve as a warning that corporations have infiltrated the political process with special interests. We must ensure that, going forward, we don't allow this type of legislation to be enacted.