Friable Thoughts

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Libby Vermiculite vs. California Serpentine

It would be ironic if little things like compensating residents of Libby, Montana or residents of the El Dorado Hills in California finally kills the asbestos trust fund. Though why the folks in Libby can't get in line with everybody else is beyond me. I mean, it should be fairly easy to establish exposure for them (anything with a Libby mailing address would do) and they have someone to point the finger at, W.R. Grace.

On the other hand, folks in the El Dorado Hills really can't sue God for putting asbestos in the ground and going after building contractors is a bit harder than suing manufacturers. And, if I was an insurer or manufacturer putting money into the fund, I would be a bit miffed that some of that money would go to folks who had no claim against anybody let alone if those folks end up busting the fund.

Both groups have problems but including one and excluding the other may come down to old fashioned politics. Whose vote do you need and whose vote isn't going anywhere? Or, they can just include both and risk busting the fund...not that it was a problem in the first place.


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