Ultimately, the Legislature did not act on SB 398 in the most recent session, and I thank our state lawmakers for not leaving Louisiana's veterans out in the cold.
Many thousands of veterans who served from World War II on through the Vietnam era were exposed to this dangerous material when they were in the armed forces, defending our country. But because the federal government has asserted sovereign immunity, these veterans are barred from holding the federal government (their employer during their time in the military) liable for their exposure. So veterans must try to find and sue the companies that once supplied the government with asbestos ' most of which have gone belly up.
A medical criteria bill like SB 398 would weed out the cases of those claimants who have filed asbestos claims even though they aren't sick, and greedy trial lawyers have clogged up our court system by filing case after case on behalf of people who aren't even sick. But a medical criteria bill would do almost nothing to resolve the unique challenges faced by sick veterans.
What's needed is a national victims' trust fund bill like the FAIR Act, which is being considered by the U.S. Senate. This approach would take asbestos claims out of the overburdened court system, and it would provide fair and prompt compensation to all sick asbestos victims, veterans included. The national trust fund would compensate only those victims who meet established medical criteria, to ensure that the sickest get compensated first.
It is clear to me that a national trust fund solution is the answer to the asbestos litigation problem. Our nation's veterans deserve to be treated with fairness. Sens. Mary Landrieu and David Vitter supported an earlier version of the trust fund bill. I thank them for their support and call on both of them to push for passage of this critical legislation this year.
In a statement, Michael Ranatza, executive director of the association, said Landrieu's "senior status" and her continued support for the sheriffs throughout her career were deciding factors.
The position puts him at odds with GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal, but could bolster support from the business community as the senator raises money for the 2015 governor's race.
On the cusp of a new school year, with the fallout from The IND’s special report, “What’s the Matter at Fatima,” still settling, the administration at Our Lady of Fatima is reaching out to the school “family” to offer reassurances about the academic and spiritual health of the institution.
The Hayride — Louisiana’s one-stop shop for far-right perspectives — has come to the defense of state Rep. Lenar Whitney following her embarrassing, early-exit interview last week with Cook Political Report analyst David Wasserman.
The Catholic Diocese of Lafayette says a 1992 investigation cleared the Rev. Gilbert Dutel of pedophilia allegations, yet when asked to produce those records, church officials came up empty-handed.
The former president and longtime board member of the Council on the Development of French in Louisiana has taken a Texas lawmaker to task over his use of the slur “coonass” during a legislative hearing.
Hundreds of new laws take effect Friday, with the start of August. A look at some of the changes on the books:
Marques Colston let out a laugh and shrugged his shoulders when the subject of his NFL longevity arose.
The state is accepting public comments on a plan that would invest $1 million in a new Homeowner Rehabilitation Program for low- to moderate-income residents whose homes were damaged after Hurricane Isaac.
A Senate Bill passed Thursday now awaits the president’s signature authorizing long-awaited reforms of the Veterans Affairs Administration, including new clinics for Lafayette and Lake Charles.
Behind the scenes a growing number of parents are saying, ‘We want our school back!’
Is sending a 16-year-old boy to prison with men for up to 99 years really the way to address juvenile crime?
How Lafayette’s family businesses have survived despite the odds
Lafayette is ready to embark on a master plan for growth, but will old habits impede our progress?
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The recently concluded World Cup is awash in analogies.
The new tool for breast cancer detection
A new tool to beat runner’s pain
Gaza truce unravels; Cantor exits early; immigration bill fails and more national and international news for Friday, August 1, 2014.
The City-Parish Council on Tuesday will be asked to sign off on an agreement between UL Lafayette and Lafayette Consolidated Government that would expand mass transit opportunities for UL students by adding five additional buses to its shuttle run between Cajun Field and campus.
Louisiana's high school seniors are making increased strides on Advanced Placement exams.
The Alabama game is sold out but tickets for all other homes games can be purchased online at www.LSUtix.net.
Among the one-percenters nationally, Louisiana's fattest cat is a relative pauper.
The Republican governor sent a letter Thursday to the president, saying placement of the children in Louisiana could have "potential negative ramifications."
Many laws are minor, though some impact health care options, change educational programs and reach into people's everyday activities.