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Asbestos Legislation

Can manufacturer seeks Minnesota law change to skirt asbestos liability
Can manufacturer seeks Minnesota law change to skirt asbestos liability
A Philadelphia-based can manufacturer is seeking a law change in Minnesota that would shield it from asbestos lawsuits in the state.

In 1963, Crown Holdings Inc. merged with a rival that also produced asbestos insulation. This merger had left Crown liable for asbestos claims against the other company, something that company officials say is not right, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

However, asbestos victims - whose exposure to the naturally occurring substance led them to develop diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma - are saying that the move by Crown is simply an effort to skirt their responsibilities.

"Any individual such as yourself or a corporation, if they make a mistake, they ought to pay for their mistake," an asbestos attorney told the news source.

Additionally, victims and their supporters say that the company purchased by Crown had asbestos compensation claims filed against it before the merger, meaning that Crown should have known about the liability.

The Associated Press reports that Crown has been able to lobby 15 other states to enact similar laws.

Asbestos related illnesses kill 107,000 people each year around the world, according to the World Health Organization.
2/15/12

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