The U.S. House Judiciary Committee eked out a winning vote against asbestos victims on June 8, 2012, when it passed The FACT Act by a margin of 15-14. The bill now makes its way to the House floor for further deliberation. The bill represents a RED ALERT for all mesothelioma/asbestos advocates. In other words: Asbestos companies would be able to prolong the payment of asbestos claims through the bankruptcy trust system.
We must ACT now to stop passage of this preposterous bill.
About the FACT Act and why it matters to you: The FACT Act was introduced in the House earlier this year, supposedly as a way of promoting ‘transparency’ in the asbestos bankruptcy claims process. However, the new requirements would place unreasonable burdens-of-proof on asbestos trusts (claimants/victims/patients) when it comes to their receiving due compensation for injury. In order to be rewarded settlements the claimants would be required to publicly disclose all details of personal testimony (deposition) including infinitesimal details about occupation and asbestos exposure history.
Opposing parties (companies responsible for the victim’s asbestos exposure) would be allowed to demand further information until the cows come home— no matter how insignificant or obscure— to prolong the process beyond the claimant’s life expectancy.
Essentially the bill would transform the process from complex into nightmarish for sick people already fighting against cancer. It would discourage many from taking a stand in the first.
But this process is what the industry labels ‘transparent’: We think it is about as transparent as a century of promoting asbestos as a good thing to have around.
Today, many asbestos companies continue promoting asbestos products as ‘safe when used appropriately’; they still claim certain types of asbestos are ‘safe.’ Tell that to the 3,000 Americans who are diagnosed annually with mesothelioma.
What can one person do?
Please write, phone or email your congressional representatives today and tell them to vote ‘NO’ on HB 4369, the ‘FACT Act.’ Click this link: http://www.congress.org/ to find out who your representatives are and specific ways to contact them (simply type in your zip code).
If we raise our voices in unison we can stop this corrupt piece of legislation before it passes the House or and/or Senate, and continue preserving the rights of asbestos sufferers.