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March 12, 2013

WSJ: ‘As Asbestos Claims Rise, So Do Worries About Fraud’

Today’s Wall Street Journal carried this must-read, front page story that highlights the fraud and abuse surrounding asbestos litigation and the bankruptcy trusts.

This watershed article is the first detailed examination of the trusts in a major media outlet.

As the Journal reports:

“With dozens of asbestos-related manufacturers forced into bankruptcy, a burgeoning swath of the legal action has shifted out of the courtroom and into a nebulous world of trusts that evaluate claims and authorize payouts with little outside scrutiny.”

The story underscores the urgent need for greater oversight of the trusts.

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act, which would require the trusts to file quarterly reports on claims with the bankruptcy courts.

In addition, several states are considering trust transparency measures similar to the one enacted in Ohio last year.

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