Senators Thom Tilis (R-NC), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) recently introduced the PROTECT Asbestos Victims Act. The legislation is described on Grassley’s website as “commonsense legislation that provides much-needed oversight of asbestos bankruptcy trust to ensure victims receive just compensation” (Grassley, 2018). This bill may be commonsense to these Senators, but not to those suffering from asbestos-related illness.
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is in strong opposition to the proposed legislation. Linda Reinstein, ADAO President and Co-founder says the new legislation in fact does not protect asbestos victims, but protects the ones responsible for causing harm (Cecchini, 2018). Reinstein states that it is time for protecting “public health and our environment-not the companies who knowingly exposed and killed Americans.”
There is no coincidence that this bill follows in the wake of 25 other pro-asbestos industry bills that are masked as protective legislation for asbestos victims when in actuality protect those who continue to use asbestos in their products. This bill is another attempt to delay help for those who need it while companies who are responsible can delay restitution. While lawmakers are pushing the bill as protecting those who deserve compensation, it is simply the “latest tactic in the ongoing efforts to protect the asbestos industry and insurers from being held responsible for poisoning of Americans” (Cecchini, 2018).
Cecchini, K. (2018, March 19). ADAO Strongly Opposes the So-Called “PROTECT Asbestos Victims Act” (S. 2564). Retrieved March 21, 2018, from https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180319005448/en/ADAO Strongly-Opposes-So-Called-“PROTECT-Asbestos-Victims-Act”
Grassley, C. (2018, March 15). Tillis, Cornyn, Grassley Introduce the PROTECT Asbestos Victims Act. Retrieved March 21, 2018, from https://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/news-releases/tillis-cornyn-grassley-introduce-protect-asbestos-victims-act