There are currently several bills in existence that threaten asbestos exposure victims' privacy and access to justice. These bills are created by lawmakers aligned with asbestos defendants.
H.B. 403: Asbestos Litigation Transparency Act
In Utah, the Asbestos Litigation Transparency Act (H.B. 403) is opposed by workers, veterans, and their families. The bill will make it more difficult for the victims of asbestos exposure to seek justice for related injuries and suffering by "endlessly delay[ing] current and future cases." Both asbestos lawsuits and asbestos claims will be affected by this legislation. Utah residents against H.B. 403 sum it up best by saying, "this bill treats us and other asbestos victims like criminals rather than innocent victims of corporate deceit."
H.R. 526: Furthering Asbestos Claims Transparency Act
The so-called "FACT Act" (formerly H.R. 526) is now included within the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act (H.R. 1927). The FACT Act is very similar to the Utah bill mentioned above. It aims to publish asbestos victims' private medical, work, and personal history, including the last four digits of their social security number.
After passing in the U.S. House of Representatives, the bill is being debated in the Senate.
The victims of asbestos exposure -- many of whom are sick and dying -- and those that represent them are struggling to understand how asbestos defendants are now calling for "transparency," when they kept the dangers of exposure hidden for so long. If there had been transparency all those years ago, people would not be dying from exposure today.
What do you think? Are asbestos victims the ones who need to be punished for their exposure?