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Congress Threatens Asbestos Victims' Rights with the FACT Act

Congress is considering purposing a bill that threatens the rights and privacy of asbestos victims and their family members. The bill, titled Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act (FACT act), the bill was written by corporate lobbyists for the very same companies that were responsible for countless lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma death all across the globe.

FACT act is not concerned with the compensation of victims. The bill would amend the bankruptcy code by creating reporting requirements specifically for asbestos bankruptcy trusts. These reports which would include the name and exposure history of each claimant and their asbestos exposure history would then be made public which is seemingly only to the benefit of litigation defendants, the very companies who paid to author the bill.

It isn't clear how the bill could possibly help anyone other than asbestos litigation defendants. These bill supporters state that it is necessary to prevent victims' from recovering twice, once from the trusts and once from the lawsuit. Trusts only compensate claims against companies who've gotten bankruptcy protection. A claimant can't settle with a company through a trust and then sue the same company in court - it is the purpose of bankruptcy protection. Additionally, trusts are already preventing abuse; trustees have a fiduciary duty to manage their assets for the benefit of current and future claimants.

Tell your member of congress that they should stand up for their constituents. Tell your member of congress to oppose the FACT act.

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