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Lawmakers Introduce Bill Targeting Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Funds

A Texas-federal lawmaker recently introduced a bill in Congress allegedly targeting what has been incorrectly characterized as a "lack of transparency" when it comes to who, how, and why claimants receive compensation in asbestos bankruptcy trust funds. Other lawmakers have introduced similar legislation over the years aimed at making it more difficult for mesothelioma cancer victims to follow through with filing claims to receive the vital compensation necessary to pay for medical treatment and cover lost earnings.

House Judiciary Committee and House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform member Rep. Blake Farenthold submitted H.R. 906, known as the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2017, along with cosponsors Reps. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Tom Marino, R-Pa. Approximately 100 bankrupt asbestos companies have created trusts over the years to compensate mesothelioma cancer victims, many of which claim they are the targets of frivolous and exaggerated claims aimed at drawing more compensation than deserved.

The bill would require mesothelioma bankruptcy trusts to submit quarterly reports on claims submitted to the organizations, while (allegedly) protecting claimant privacy and personal information at the same time. While former President Barack Obama promised to veto any such legislation while he was in office, the new Trump administration is seen by many as more sympathetic to tort reform and particularly asbestos. According to his 1997 book, "The Art of the Comeback," President Trump praised the use of the deadly material as a fire retardant, going as far to make claims that criminal elements pushed for legislation to ban asbestos so these entities could then corner the market in asbestos abatement.

How Does Asbestos Cause Mesothelioma?

Asbestos is a flaky, white mineral formerly used in many industrial applications for many decades until it became known to the public about the material's carcinogenic properties and that companies were hiding this information in order to keep profits high by using the inexpensive material. While the exact genetic triggers are not precisely known, it is well understood asbestos exposure plays a causal link in developing the rare and aggressive cancer.

Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) believes there is no safe exposure level to asbestos, as even a small amount entering the lungs could trigger the disease or other serious health problems. Often times, mesothelioma affects the thin lining of skin around the lungs and abdomen, as well as the heart in more rare cases.

Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyer

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.

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