1985 Scorecard Vote
Contrary to popular belief, the Superfund toxic dump clean-up program does not provide money to compensate victims of toxic waste. Yet it is often difficult if not impossible for victims to recover damages from those responsible. Often several companies share the same dump, or one company pays another to dispose of its wastes. Although victims can sue in state courts, many states have legal rules which make it difficult to prove who is legally liable for damages, or which disallow key evidence and technical data.
The vote is on the Frank (D-MA) Amendment to allow those hurt by toxic wastes to sue in federal court, where the rules are more sympathetic to the victim. Frank Amendment rejected 162-261; December 10, 1985. YES is the pro-environmental vote. (Frank Amendment to H.R. 2817, Superfund Reauthorization.) Although Superfund legislation passed both Houses of Congress in 1985, final passage did not occur until October 1986. The new law gives victims of toxic dumping additional time to sue those responsible, but it does not allow them to sue in federal court.