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November 13, 2013

WSJ Law Blog: ‘Asbestos Measure To Get Rare Vote’

Dionne Searcey writes in the WSJ Law Blog (subscription required) about today’s expected House vote on the FACT Act.

As Searcey writes:

The trusts are giant pots of money that exist to compensate people who say they were injured by asbestos products made by companies that have since sought bankruptcy protection. The flood of asbestos lawsuits has led more than 40 companies into bankruptcy court.

Claimants only collect pennies on the dollar of what they’d earn if the companies were solvent, but the amount of money the trusts pay out collectively is huge. At the end of 2010, they paid about 3.3 million claims valued at $17.5 billion, according to a 2011 U.S. Government Accountability Office report. Plaintiffs’ attorneys get a cut of the payments to their clients.

Some critics allege fraud can result when people file claims against one trust blaming it exclusively for their asbestos disease, then make the same claims to other trusts as well as to solvent companies in court. Because trusts keep claims information secret, no one is usually the wiser. 

For more on the importance of passing the FACT Act, please check out these resources:

Arizona skyline Blog Arizona Governor Signs Law to Prevent Over-naming in Asbestos Lawsuits Asbestos Blog West Virginia Wants to Pay Jurors More---That’s a Good Thing Asbestos, Other Issues News California Asbestos Verdict Reversed; Wrong State's Laws Were Used Asbestos News In The News-June 11, 2021 Asbestos News NYC Asbestos Suits Packed with Blameless Defendants Asbestos

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