Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Speaking Out Against Corporate Welfare

Crown Cork & Seal purchased a Virginia company that had been engaged in the manufacturing of asbestos products. Asbestos has been found to cause a form of cancer called mesothelioma. The liability associated with this has been substantial.

The Washington Post ran two stories about this here and here, and the Virginian Pilot ran a story here.

The House of Delegates considered legislation that was drafted to limit Crown Cork & Seal's liability to money they had already paid. I always have concerns any time we limit anyone's liability or change the law, especially for injuries that have already been caused.

I also have concerns about passing legislation that limits liability for a specific company. From my point of view, this company made a bad business decision and was asking the legislature to bail them out of a bad business decision.

This sets a bad precedent. My comments are below.


  1. The WaPo items are not stories, they're opinion pieces. The Pilot;s treatment is much more objective, though none of those give us the facts of the case. Each gives only the political spin.

    This treatment makes it even more difficult on constituents, who now have to dig through the actual legislation, floor comments, and votes, to know the true story.

    I appreciate your bringing it to our attention, but you could have presented significantly better links to enable an enformed constituency.

  2. Delegate Surrovell is correct in identifying the measure promoted by House Speaker Howell for what it is. Corporate welfare has no place in the Old Dominion. This whole proposal reeks of another instance of privatizing profits and socializing losses. The people that are sick and will be sick from the exposure to asbestous will not be without the medical attention required. VA taxpayers should not be the ones to pay the bills.

    Why don't the proponents of this legislation afford the same privileges to VA gamblers as it ? You buy a VA lottery ticket. If you win, you get to keep the money. If you lose, the state covers your bet.