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Federal-Mogul Says Bill Could Jeopardize Jobs

Federal-Mogul Corp., a Southfield-based auto-parts maker forced into bankruptcy by asbestos litigation, says it opposes legislation to create a $124-billion fund to compensate people for cancer and other diseases caused by the fibrous mineral. Federal-Mogul told lawmakers it was no longer represented by two industry groups lobbying Congress to pass the bill as a retired federal judge tried to mediate differences over the measure. The bill is stalled in the U.S. Senate. Republican and Democratic leaders agreed to the mediation after Democrats blocked Senate action on the bill last week.

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From Bloomberg

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SOUTHFIELD, MI — Federal-Mogul Corp., a Southfield-based auto-parts maker forced into bankruptcy by asbestos litigation, says it opposes legislation to create a $124-billion fund to compensate people for cancer and other diseases caused by the fibrous mineral.

Federal-Mogul told lawmakers it was no longer represented by two industry groups lobbying Congress to pass the bill as a retired federal judge tried to mediate differences over the measure. The bill is stalled in the U.S. Senate. Republican and Democratic leaders agreed to the mediation after Democrats blocked Senate action on the bill last week.

The Republican-sponsored bill, which would require the company to contribute $2.2 billion to the trust fund over 30 years, would undermine Federal-Mogul’s plans to emerge from bankruptcy later this year, endangering almost 20,000 jobs in 19 states, the company said.

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“This carefully crafted reorganization, and indeed the company’s future, is threatened” by the bill, Charles McClure, Federal-Mogul’s chief executive officer and president, said in a letter to senators.

The legislation would create a trust fund financed by companies facing large asbestos claims such as W.R. Grace & Co., USG Corp. and their insurers.

The bill would end asbestos litigation that has bankrupted more than 70 companies and would pay specific amounts of money for respiratory and other diseases caused by long-term exposure to asbestos.

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