FACT Act headed to the Senate

10 Mar 2017 by Sarah Mahan under News

640px United States Capitol west front edit2 100x100 FACT Act headed to the Senate The Furthering Claims Transparency (FACT) Act passed the House of Representatives as part of H.R. 985, the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017, by a 220-201 vote Thursday. The passage comes after the original , H.R. 906, passed the House Judiciary Committee in mid-February and was rolled into the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017 at the beginning of this month.

While supporters say the bill will reduce the number of false claims, anti- advocates contend it is just a way to deter lawsuits filed against negligent businesses and delay payments to victims, as MyMeso previously reported.

The Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) released a statement following the ’s passage through the House stressing the negative impact the act will have on victims of . “Congress should be focusing on legislation to stop imports and ensure the EPA can expeditiously ban asbestos, not on providing handouts to the murderous industry,” ADAO President Linda Reinstein said in the statement. “The dangers of have been known since the early 1900s, but is still legal and lethal in the U.S., causing devastating illnesses and death for those exposed.

“Corporations that have knowingly and recklessly exposed Americans to a known carcinogen should be held accountable. It is reprehensible that the House has passed legislation that will let corporations off the hook, create significant privacy risks for victims, and delay compensation and justice.”

The bill claims to limit plaintiffs’ ability to “double-dip” into the injury trust system, according to a press release by the Judiciary Committee. It claims to do this by requiring trusts to file quarterly reports on their public bankruptcy documents that contain information about the demands of and payments from the trusts. It would also require the trusts to respond to “claims asserted against, and payments made by, the trusts.” However, opponents assert the personal information the bill requires of those seeking compensation, including name, exposure history and basis for payment, could pose security issues and, overall, the bill would decrease dying victims’ likelihood of receiving compensation.

H.R. 985 is now headed to the Senate.

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