Asbestos Study Group

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The Asbestos Study Group is an industry coalition formed to fight for limits on asbestos-related lawsuits. Members include Halliburton, Honeywell, Pfizer, Viacom and General Motors.[1][2] According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the majority of Asbestos Study Group members "are non-traditional asbestos defendants--companies that did not manufacture the substance but used it in some of their products."[3]

According to Reuters, "The Asbestos Study Group reported spending $5.56 million in the first half of 2003 on lobbying for legislation to end asbestos lawsuits, making the group one of the top spenders, according to disclosure forms. ... PolitcialMoneyLine.com, which tracks spending totals from lobbying reports, said the Asbestos Study Group was the 11th biggest lobby spender in the first half of 2003."[4]

The Hill reported that the Asbestos Study Group had the largest single lobbying contract on Washington DC's power corridor, K Street, in 2004. The $5.5 million contract was for just six months of "lobbying and substantive expertise" from the law firm of Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman. "Asbestos reform is a huge issue of great consequence to many people," said lobbyist Gary Slaiman, who has worked with the Asbestos Study Group. [5]

Potential corporate defendants in asbestos cases want "to pay asbestos claims out of a trust fund that they would finance, rather than continuing to pay victims' claims in court. But labor leaders have rejected the money offered for the fund as too small."[6]

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