No date set for asbestos bill to reach Senate floor

No date set for asbestos bill to reach Senate floor

[JURIST] US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter [official website], co-sponsor with Senator Patrick Leahy [official website] of a bill to end asbestos injury lawsuits and pay the claims from a private fund instead, said Tuesday he was still urging the bill to be brought forward despite criticism [anti-bill advocacy website], a tight legislative calendar, and a looming battle in the Senate over a new Supreme Court nominee. The Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2005 (FAIR) [PDF text], approved by Specter's committee [JURIST report] in May by a vote of 13-5, is to be paid for by companies facing asbestos litigation and their insurers in an effort to end lawsuits over asbestos exposure. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said he had not ruled out July as the time to bring it to the Senate floor, but added, "I really just don't know the timing." AP has more.