U.S. Rep. Bruce Vento Diagnosed With Malignant Mesothelioma
Rep. Vento was diagnosed by doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. According
to the Congressman:
"Recent medical exams have revealed that I have cancer. The type of
lung cancer is malignant mesothelioma, which is caused by exposure to
asbestos. The cancer was detected in the first stages and is believed
by my physicians to be treatable.
The specialists at the Mayo Clinic have recommended an aggressive course
of treatment. Such treatment must be my first priority. It is a fight
that I did not expect but it is a challenge that I hope to win."
Vento, a St. Paul native, has represented the 4th District since 1977.
The district includes the eastern area of the Twin Cities and is considered
Democratic-leaning because of its strong labor tradition and concentration
of state government workers.
Congressman Vento has worked, among other trades, as a laborer at Horner
Waldorf, Whirlpool, Minnesota Plastics and the Hamm's Brewery. He
served as a Machinist union steward while working at Minnesota Plastics.
Vento went on to teach science and social studies in the Minneapolis public
schools for more than ten years.
Currently, the House Judiciary Committee, Chaired by Henry Hyde, is considering
legislation that is backed by several asbestos companies that would curb
the rights of asbestos victims, such as Rep. Vento, to pursue damages
in civil court. The industry-backed "Fairness in Asbestos Compensation
Act" would create a federal bureaucracy that would pre-screen all
asbestos claims before the claimant is allowed to file a civil claim against
the asbestos manufacturers.
The industry argues that this would alleviate "docket clog".
However, the requirement that claimants receive the blessing of a federal
agency before exercising their constitutional right to seek civil recourse
would jeopardize the claims of extremely ill cancer patients, like Congressman
Vento. In California, for example, if a claimant dies before his claim
is decided by a jury, the decedent's family is not allowed to pursue
damages for the pain and suffering that the
A Salute to Bruce Vento and Call to Arms: Mesothelioma Will Not Be Overcome by
Will, Passion and Spirit Alone (6/30/00)
Congressman and Malignant Mesothelioma Patient Bruce Vento Joins MARF's
Board of Directors!
Press Release, September 11, 2000
Congressman Bruce Vento Dies
October 9, 2000
Congressman Bruce Vento's Cause of Death Clarified.
Press Release October 13, 2000 (10/13/00)
*** UPDATED JUNE 30, 2000 ***