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Eye On Boise

Tue., March 20, 2012, 4:13 p.m.

Bill easing firm’s asbestos liability narrowly passes Senate, heads to governor’s desk

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Bottle-cap maker Crown Holdings might want to pop the top off a celebratory bottle, after a bill to limit its asbestos liability in Idaho cleared the Senate and headed to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter for signature. The measure cleared the chamber 19-15 on Tuesday, reflecting a strong minority's reluctance to help it off the legal hook. The House had approved the bill 47-22 in February. For years, the Pennsylvania-based company has sought protection from claims filed by lung-disease patients. Though it has just a handful of claims from Idaho, it also wants protections here from having to make future payments related to its ill-fated purchase of an asbestos-tainted company in 1963. That's resulted in $700 million in payouts, with 50,000 claims still pending. Crown has won protections in 14 states.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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