Environmental Group Study Ranks Alabama 19th In Asbestos DeathsMar 5, 2004 | AP
An environmental group opposing federal legislation on compensating asbestos victims issued an analysis yesterday on the number of asbestos deaths and injuries. Alabama ranks 19th in the United States in deaths from two asbestos-related diseases.
The Washington, D.C., based Environmental Working Group study says Alabama has had 741 deaths since 1979 from asbestos and 10,881 people have gone to court somewhere seeking compensation for injuries, including more than 3,000 cases in the Mobile County area.
California and Florida topped the list of states with asbestos-related deaths since 1979.
Attorneys familiar with asbestos litigation said the legislation opposed by EWG comes too late for many Alabama victims of asbestos-related disease because the state's Supreme Court in the 1980s blocked any suits.
EWG spokesman Jon Corsiglia said the proposed federal legislation is a "bailout bill" favored by asbestos manufacturers and their insurance companies. He said the measure could come up for a vote by the end of this month.