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FactCheck.org : Warren’s Role in Asbestos Case

Home • The FactCheck Wire • Warren’s Role in Asbestos Case Warren’s Role in Asbestos Case Posted on October 15, 2012 Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown and challenger Elizabeth Warren are accusing each other of “not telling the truth.” Brown says Warren worked to “restrict payments” to asbestos victims, while Warren says she worked to “get more money” for them. We find Warren is correct; Brown’s ad is a distortion. It may seem counter-intuitive that Warren’s work on behalf of an insurance company that covered an asbestos manufacturer could be work on the same side as the victims of the case. But Warren was brought in as a bankruptcy expert on a case before the Supreme Court to secure a $500 million trust to pay asbestos victims. As part of a settlement that Warren worked to preserve, the insurance company sought immunity from lawsuits in exchange for releasing the $500 million trust. Attorneys for most of the asbestos victims supported Warren’s efforts. Here are the two narratives portrayed by the competing campaigns. Brown’s Version In recent TV and radio ads, the Brown campaign begins with a narrator saying, “Elizabeth Warren’s not telling the truth about her career.” It then cuts to a clip of Warren saying, “I’ve been out there working for people who have been injured by big corporations.” The narrator then says, “But the [Boston] Globe says Elizabeth Warren was a key lawyer in an asbestos case working for a big corporation. Warren helped Travelers Insurance restrict payments to victims of asbestos poisoning. The results were disastrous for the victims. The insurance company saved millions. And Elizabeth Warren got paid 40 times what they paid victims. Elizabeth Warren’s just not who she says she is.”

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