FACT Bill Attempts to Thwart Justice for Mesothelioma Victims

On April 17, 2012, Rep. Benjamin Quayle (R-AZ) and co-sponsors, Reps. Jim Matheson (D-UT) and Dennis Ross (R-FL) introduced in the House the “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2012” (H.R. 4369).

The Judiciary Committee Hearing on the 'FACT' bill is set for Wednesday, June 6, 2012 at 9:30 a.m.in the Rayburn House Office Building.

The FACT Bill was created by lobbyists on behalf of asbestos corporations and insurers against those diagnosed with and suffering from Mesothelioma. It is the latest effort by these groups to delay justice for victims and to minimize accountability for defendants.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is known for its strength, durability and capacity to resist fire and heat. Asbestos is highly carcinogenic. Asbestos has long been proven to cause serious health ailments, including pleural plaques, asbestosis, lung cancer and Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an uncommon, but no longer rare, caner that is difficult to diagnosis and poorly responsive to treatment. Mesothelioma is the most serious of all asbestos-related diseases.

Victims of Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses are able to seek financial redress – compensation against the manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, etc. of asbestos products. Victims can file a civil lawsuit and proceed in the civil court system against viable asbestos companies and/or file administrative claims against now-defunct (bankrupt) asbestos entities.

The FACT bill keys in on the bankruptcy trust element of asbestos litigation. Specifically:

  • FACT would require the private asbestos bankruptcy trusts to publically release extensive individual information about those asbestos victims seeking redress from the trusts, including now confidential settlements; &
  • FACT would also permit asbestos defendants to delay compensation to victims by submitting information requests, no matter how irrelevant or immaterial.

If passed, the FACT bill will protect the Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts, businesses and defendants from victims seeking justice. The legal procedures available to victims seeking financial compensation will likely be delayed and difficult.

Voice your outrage to Congress! Urge the Members of the House Judiciary Committee to vote “No!” on HR 4369 (the 'FACT' Bill) and protect asbestos victims and their families.

Contact the below members of the Judiciary committee and leave the following message:

Please OPPOSE HR 4369 when it is marked up in the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. This Bill seeks to hurt asbestos victims and their families by delaying compensation and making the process more difficult for victims. Do NOT support the asbestos industry against victim rights.

  • Honorable John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI)
    Judiciary Committee Ranking Member
    (202) 225-5126
  • Honorable Howard Berman (D-CA)
    (202) 225-4696
  • Honorable Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
    (202) 225-5635
  • Honorable Bobby Scott (D-VA)
    (202) 225-8351
  • Honorable Mel Watt (D-NC)
    (202) 225-1510
  • Honorable Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
    (202) 225-3072
  • Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)
    (202) 225-3816
  • Honorable Maxine Waters (D-CA)
    (202) 225-2201
  • Honorable Steve Cohen (D-TN)
    (202) 225-3265
  • Honorable Hank Johnson (D-GA)
    (202) 225-1605
  • Honorable Pedro R. Pierluisi (D-PR, Resident Commissioner)
    (202) 225-2615
  • Honorable Mike Quigley (D-IL)
    (202) 225-4061
  • Honorable Judy Chu (D-CA)
    (202) 225-5464
  • Honorable Ted Deutch (D-FL)
    (202) 225-3001
  • Honorable Linda Sanchez (D-CA)
    (202) 225-6676
  • Honorable Jared Polis (D-CO)
    (202) 225-2161