New Warren Ads Defend Legal Work In Asbestos Case
BOSTON — Democratic Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren has launched two new television ads responding to criticism by Republican Sen. Scott Brown of her legal work in an asbestos-related case.
The ads feature family members of asbestos victims. In one, Kingston resident Virginia Jackson says her husband died in 1990 of mesothelioma — a cancer linked to asbestos — after he was exposed while working at a Quincy shipyard.
Jackson credits Warren for going “all the way to the Supreme Court to try to get more money for asbestos victims.” She says Brown should be “ashamed” for using victims’ suffering to help himself.
Brown has said Warren was paid nearly $250,000 by Travelers Insurance to help defend the company against asbestos poisoning settlements.
An ad released by Brown’s campaign last week said Warren helped Travelers limit the amount of money victims of asbestos poisoning would get.
“The results were disastrous for victims,” the ad’s narrator says.
Warren’s campaign has called Brown’s allegations false and misleading.
It says Warren, a bankruptcy expert, argued in the 2009 Supreme Court case that Travelers should be protected from future lawsuits from victims because such suits would prevent similar trusts from being created, making it impossible for all victims to be paid.
A Brown spokesman declined to comment on Warren’s ads, instead pointing to a new ad that faults Warren for wanting to raise taxes on small businesses in a weak economy, saying it would cost thousands of jobs in Massachusetts.
The Brown ad says “a new study from a respected accounting firm says Elizabeth Warren’s tax increase means over 700,000 jobs lost, over 17,000 in Massachusetts alone.”
The study cited in the ad is a July 2012 report prepared by Ernst & Young LLP on behalf of a number of business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business, both of which have endorsed Brown.
Warren’s campaign said the report didn’t study Warren’s plan.
“Scott Brown’s false attacks on President Obama and Elizabeth Warren are another attempt by a desperate candidate to distract from his own record,” said Warren spokeswoman Julie Edwards.