Mesothelioma.com Resources for Patients and their Families

FACT Act Legislation Continues To Move Forward

Jillian Duff covers pressing news for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

Jillian Duff

May 18, 2015

Washington, DC - The 2015 Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act was introduced to the House of Representatives by Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) this week with a 19-9 Judiciary Committee vote of approval. According to Farenthold, its goal is to decrease fraud in asbestos lawsuits by requiring asbestos trusts to file quarterly reports on their public bankruptcy dockets, including demands for payments and basis for payments made.

“There are more than 12,000 U.S. deaths each year from asbestos-related disease, and this bill does nothing to address that,” said Linda Reinstein, co-founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. “Instead, it creates new hurdles for victims seeking justice, benefiting the same corporations responsible for causing this national health crisis.”

“Every dollar taken through double-dipping or unscrupulous legal practices is a dollar less for those victims who face mesothelioma and other asbestos related illnesses,” said Farenthold. “The FACT Act will shine sunlight into the opaque trust system to fight this fraud and abuse.”

These trusts were set up under the bankruptcy code in 1994 for bankrupt manufacturers and their insurers to be able to compensate workers and their families who were affected by companies’ asbestos exposure on the job.

Asbestos Nation, the Environmental Working Group Action Fund campaign to create public awareness of the hazards and health risks of asbestos, said the legislation results in legal barriers purposefully created to make compensation for victims much longer and much more difficult.

According to lawmakers, there are about 60 asbestos trust funds and almost $40 billion in assets being paid out right now so people are able to obtain numerous payouts by filing different conflicting claims.

Past lawmakers have tried to stop the FACT Act claiming it obstructs justice for victims dying from asbestos diseases while giving a handout to the corporations who caused the problems in the first place.

In fact, Congress has lost one of its own to mesothelioma. The late Rep. Bruce Vento died of mesothelioma cancer in 2000 due to his previous employment as a laborer. Rep. Vento had his lung removed and was undergoing treatment at the Mayo Clinic, but still passed 14 months after his diagnosis.

According to Vento’s wife, Susan Vento, “This bill would force asbestos bankruptcy trusts to release asbestos victims’ personal information and would add additional procedural burdens that delay compensation for dying victims, meaning many victims will not live long enough to see justice served.”

Resources for Mesothelioma Patients and their Families

Search the News:

Search the News

Upcoming Events

March 27, 2017
Bethesda, MD

International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma

“The 2017 International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma is an event organized by the Meso Foundation in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The Symposium will be held from March 27th through March 29th of 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda with daytime conference sessions taking place on the campus of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland.”


4/1/2017
CrossFit OSC, Greer, SC

1st Annual OSC Barbell Rodeo CrossFit Competition

“CrossFit OSC is hosting its 1st Annual OSC Barbell Rodeo CrossFit Competition in memory of Emily Brown Kocis, sister of OSC member Phil Brown. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. To learn more on how to participate, please visit the link to the event's page below.”