Ann Maher May 6, 2014, 8:03am

Vice President Joe Biden was in town Tuesday to help raise funds for U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Asbestos attorney John Simmons, who has supported Biden’s campaigns and maintained a working relationship with the vice president’s son  – Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden – hosted a dinner.

Attendees at closed fund-raising events paid between $1,000 and $35,000, according to the Chicago Sun Times.

Simmons began working with Wilmington, Del.-based Bifferato Gentilotti Biden and Balick, of which Beau Biden was a partner, nine years ago. Beau Biden then ran for Attorney General in 2006. He has held the office ever since assuming it in 2007.

Simmons and the Bifferato firm began filing asbestos suits together in Delaware in 2005, though Bifferato’s firm had never filed one before their association. Simmons and Bifferato sued for clients around the nation, and no one could challenge jurisdiction because the list of defendants always included Delaware corporations.

Before he was elected Vice President in 2008, Joe Biden was U.S. Senator from Delaware, having served from 1973 until 2009.

While in the Senate, he led successful opposition to a bill that would have curtailed asbestos litigation.

In February 2006, Biden voted with a majority of Democrats that included Sen. Barack Obama to defeat a bill that would have created a trust fund for asbestos claimants. The trust fund would have replaced lawsuits as a means of compensating claimants.

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