PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app


Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app


PNS Daily Newscast - March 9, 2021 

IA reporter trial renews calls to protect press freedoms; California movement to ban new gas stations is spreading.

2021Talks - March 9, 2021 

The House votes on the American Rescue Plan, President Biden signs orders to advance gender equity, and with legislation pending to protect voting rights, pressure grows to end the Senate tactic of the filibuster.

Advocates Call Asbestos Bill a "Bad Deal" for Victims

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

Asbestos was used extensively in construction, shipbuilding and steel mills. (Joey Gannon/Flickr)
Asbestos was used extensively in construction, shipbuilding and steel mills. (Joey Gannon/Flickr)
January 25, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A bill affecting compensation claims by Pennsylvanians suffering from asbestos-related diseases is scheduled for a key committee vote in the state Legislature.

Asbestos has been known for decades to cause diseases like mesothelioma, a kind of cancer. Victims of industrial exposures are still fighting for compensation through lawsuits. Sponsors of House Bill 1428 claim the bill would increase transparency and fairness in the litigation process. But Larry Cohan, an attorney with the firm Anapol Weiss who has represented many victims, says it would keep some from ever seeing a dime.

"The way the bill is written, no living mesothelioma victim will ever survive long enough to have their day in court," says Cohan. "The bill virtually guarantees extensive delays."

According to the Environmental Working Group, more than 14,000 Pennsylvanians have died of asbestos-related diseases since 1999, the third-highest death rate in the country.

Lawsuits have forced many asbestos companies into bankruptcy and trusts have been formed to compensate victims. The American Legislative Exchange Council, which crafted the model for HB 1428, says it would preserve the resources of those trusts for deserving claimants. Cohan disagrees.

"This will cost the trusts millions, if not billions, ultimately of dollars," says Cohan. "So, there will not be a preservation for victims, there will be a loss."

Asbestos-related diseases may be latent for up to 50 years after exposure, and most victims die within one or or two years of diagnosis.

According to Cohan, there's no need for new asbestos legislation in Pennsylvania, because cases are moving through the courts quickly and efficiently now.

"This bill is nothing more than an effort by the insurance industry and the asbestos manufacturers to reduce the amounts that they pay out to victims, and to substantially delay the time for payout," says Cohan.

Similar legislation has been introduced in about a dozen other states.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - PA