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De Pere lawmaker defends bill staying asbestos lawsuits

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A state lawmaker is defending his proposal to make victims of asbestos contamination wait for their verdicts in lawsuits they file.

Assembly Republican Andre Jacque of De Pere wants to make judges put civil suits involving asbestos on hold, until the plaintiffs say whether they’re going after companies that are bankrupt.

Opponents say the bill is designed to stall justice, in the hope that plaintiffs die from their asbestos contamination before the court can making their rulings.

But at a public hearing Thursday, Jacque said the opponents are putting out “sickening accusations.”

Jacque told the Assembly Judiciary Committee his bill would help judges and juries understand how multiple defendants caused a plaintiff’s diseases – thus ensuring that the companies pay their fair amounts.

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