Also Friday, asbestos union workers stood outside Brown’s press conference and said they were irate over Brown’s latest television advertisement that attacks Warren for representing Travelers Insurance as part of a lawsuit related to asbestos poisoning. The event was coordinated by Democrats, who are backed strongly by the unions.
The new Brown ad quotes Warren saying, “I’ve been out there working for people who have been injured by big corporations.”
A narrator then says: “Warren helped Travelers Insurance restrict payments to victims of asbestos poisoning. The results were disastrous for victims. The insurance company saved millions, and Elizabeth Warren got paid 40 times what they paid victims. Elizabeth Warren is just not who she says she is.
He’s flat out misrepresenting the facts,” said Francis C. Boudrow, business manager for the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers Union, Local No. 6. “It’s offensive to all these people who’ve lost lives” to asbestos-related illness, he said.
Boudrow said Brown has refused to meet with him and his members, who showed up previously to protest outside his campaign headquarters.
The advertisement does paint a somewhat misleading picture of Warren’s work for Travelers. She was paid $212,000 from 2008 through 2010 to help the company in a Supreme Court case in which it wanted to secure immunity from lawsuits in exchange for releasing a $500 million trust to pay asbestos victims. In that case, most asbestos victims were on Travelers’ side.
But in a separate case, in which Warren was not involved, the company won an order that allowed it to retain its immunity without paying out the settlement.
Brown’s campaign argues she should have foreseen that result.