President Trump Expected to Support the Asbestos Fact Act
According to an article, President Donald Trump will likely support the Asbestos FACT Act. The bill, which was introduced by U. S. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R. Texas) in February of 2017, was approved by a House Judiciary Committee as the Fairness in Class Action Legislation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2017. It repeatedly had been stalled in the legislature with a promised veto from President Barack Obama.
According to Linda Reinstein, President of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, who opposes the legislation, the Act would make it more difficult for asbestos victims to be compensated. Under the bill, for claimants to receive compensation the asbestos trusts would disclose their private information to the public. This information would include things such as their names, social security numbers, exposure history, and reason for compensation. Furthermore, the bill functions retroactively.
Representative Farenthold claims that the bill is designed to assist asbestos victims. “The FACT Act requires bankruptcy trusts to be transparent like other courts. This will ensure deserving victims receive the maximum relief for their illness and injuries, while preserving privacy protections, and weeding out bad actors who would take advantage of the system.”
If the bill passes, quarterly reports on claims would be required. In addition, trusts would be required to release information sought by defendants in asbestos lawsuits. The purpose arguably would be to prevent claimants from “double-dipping”.
If passed, the law arguably would enable defense counsel and the companies which they represent, to obtain necessary information to better evaluate individual plaintiffs with respect to compensation issues. This should provide additional information regarding exposure history and therefore may lead to more accuracy in this area.