We’ve been looking in recent posts at some tort reform measures that are currently being pushed in Congress which could impact asbestos litigation if passed. These measures include the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act and the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act. A third bill that could have an effect on asbestos litigation is the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act (FACT).
As we mentioned in a previous post, there have been previous attempts to pass a bill like FACT, but they have been unsuccessful. Earlier this month, the House of Representatives was successful in passing a bill incorporating the measure. The aim is to prevent plaintiffs from being able to make claims to multiple asbestos trusts. This is sometimes called “double-dipping,” and it would be prevented by requiring that asbestos trusts disclose information about claimants.
While the bill would help address some abuses, critics say that it would also result in a great deal of private information about victims and their families being made necessarily public. Another criticism is that the bill will prevent asbestos exposure victims from seeking compensation from multiple parties who share responsibility for the exposure. This is especially true of veterans and workers in industries where exposure to asbestos came from multiple sources.
For asbestos exposure victims, determining the potential sources of their exposure is important in order to begin building the strongest possible case for compensation. It isn’t always easy to determine the sources of exposure when the exposure occurred years or decades earlier. Working with an experienced attorney is important to sort out such matters and to ensure asbestos victims are in the best possible position to receive fair compensation from those responsible for their exposure.