The so-called FACT (Furthering Asbestos Claims Transparency) Act, which continues to make its way through Congress, is a serious threat to the privacy and justice of asbestos exposure victims. While the bill is opposed by numerous veterans groups, it is both supported and funded by asbestos lobbyists.
Some of the contributors include, the Koch Brothers, Honeywell, and ExxonMobil.
The FACT Act will do three things to deny justice to the victims of asbestos exposure:
Invade Victims' Privacy
If passed, the bill will require asbestos bankruptcy trust funds to reveal personal information about asbestos victims and their family members on a public website. The information will include partial social security numbers, work and asbestos exposure history, and medical diagnoses.
Delays Victims' Compensation
The asbestos trusts believe that the FACT Act will "unduly and unnecessarily increase their administrative burdens..." and lead to "delay [in] processing [the] claims." It is the hope of asbestos companies that delays in claim processing will encourage victims to settle for lower amounts than they are entitled to.
Decreases Victims' Compensation
Asbestos trusts also admit that the Act will "inevitably lead to higher non-reimbursable costs" to victims.
Many of the contributors supporting the FACT Act are companies with "billions of dollars worth of liability for death and diseases caused by exposing workers, their families, or consumers to asbestos." To see the top contributors to the FACT Act, see the Environmental Working Group's website.