LANSING — House Bill 5456 — which would make it more difficult for those suffering from asbestos-related diseases to file claims against the corporations that poisoned them — passed the House today by a vote of 58 to 51. In response, state Rep. Brian K. Elder (D-Bay City) issued the following statement:

“House Bill 5456 has one core purpose: to prolong the process of paying legitimate claims for people who are dying or have died. While it was peddled as an opportunity for transparency, the truth is that these claims are not the type where fraud is common. When someone finds out they’re sick, the diagnosis is objective and irrefutable. That person knows they’re going to die, and they want to make sure their family is taken care of. HB 5456 robs them of that opportunity, changing the system to help the very company that poisoned them. That is absolutely wrong, and I could not support it.”