It has not been too long since we last checked in with the deceptively-named Furthering Asbestos Claims Transparency (FACT) Act. Introduced to the 113th United States Congress in 2013, a revised version of this bill was submitted to the 114th congressional session again in January of this year.
According to govtrack.us, the FACT Act of 2015 has a 22% chance of being enacted into law. If it succeeds, it will be the asbestos industry that reaps the benefits of the proposed “transparency.” Victims of asbestos exposure will suffer from an invasion of privacy and a loss of their access to justice.
Designed to reduce and delay compensation for the victims of asbestos exposure, the Act will require asbestos trusts to reveal private and confidential information about the victims and their settlements. And it is not just the victims who oppose the bill. In a 2013 letter to the House of Representatives, asbestos trusts stated that they “believe that the bill will unduly and unnecessarily increase the trusts’ administrative burdens and will inevitably lead to higher non-reimbursable costs and delays in the processing of claims and payment to holders of asbestos claims. Such a bill does not protect the trusts or their beneficiaries; it burdens them.”
As advocates for asbestos victims, we encourage everyone to learn more about this bill and the consequences it could have on those poisoned by the hazardous substance. There are many ways to express your opposition to the United States Congress: by signing petitions, sending messages, sharing your own story, and more.
Sources: 1, 2, 3