Critics of North Dakota law: Get asbestos health screening

State News

Asbestos Removal, United Kingdom. (Photo by BuildPix/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images)

BISMARCK, N.D. – Labor unions and veterans groups are urging North Dakotans who may have been exposed to asbestos to get screened before a new law takes effect that they say will make it more difficult to sue. Backers of the Republican-backed law, which will take effect Aug. 1 and will bar people from suing over asbestos exposure unless they’ve already been sickened by it, say it’s largely meant to guard against fraudulent claims. Critics, though, say the law is an industry bailout that will strip workers of rights and make it much harder for them to file suit over exposure. Nearly 740 North Dakotans have died from asbestos exposure since 1999, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention database.

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