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Huffington Post Debunks Claims of Fraud by Supporters of the "Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act"

04-04-2013

Currently before the House of Representatives is House Resolution 982, the “ Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2013”. Supporters of the FACT Act claim that their goal is to protect the rights of victims affected by asbestos exposure. They assert that the bill is necessary to address what they claim is “rampant fraud” in claims filed with asbestos bankruptcy trusts.

Huffington Post business writer Brian Young has examined the issue in two recent articles published on huffingtonpost.com. We believe that Mr. Young has effectively revealed how corporate interests have levied false accusations against an all-too-familiar scapegoat, asbestos plaintiffs’ attorneys, in order to pass legislation that will hurt, not help, the asbestos cancer victims they claim their bill is designed to help.

In his article, “ Shedding a Tear for the Insurance Industry?”, Mr. Young reveals that the FACT Act is supported by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC, a “non-profit” group of legislators, businesses and foundations, is funded by corporate interests including Exxon Mobil and the Koch brothers, among others. The group pushes for legislation that supports lowering minimum wage, fights clean-energy and clean-air initiatives, and strongly opposes government involvement in the regulation of corporate activities.

In a follow-up article, Mr. Young responds to a Wall Street Journal Article which seems to take the side of the bill’s supporters. Young states, “The bill is just the next step in the insurance industry's coordinated campaign to make this debate about lawyers vs. poor, beleaguered corporations.” The truth is that there are more asbestos claims being filed not due to fraud, but due to the widespread use of this extremely dangerous mineral which these corporations knowingly exposed workers and by extension their families to. The reason these people are entitled to any compensation at all is proof to the fact that these companies had complete disregard for the health and safety of others and placed profits above human lives.”

“These companies cry that too many new claims are being filed so fraud must be occurring, although the WSJ’s article specifically identified only two isolated incidents of improper claims being submitted to asbestos bankruptcy trusts out of the 850,000 the WSJ examined that have been filed over the last 30 years.”

"ALEC and their allies in government and the media can cry their crocodile tears for the poor, downtrodden insurance companies, but I won't shed a tear for the multimillion dollar industry. Like most people, I will send my sympathies to the families of people whose loved ones suffered and died terrible deaths -- and I will cheer the lawyers who defend them when they get their well-deserved day in court."

Well said Mr. Young!!

Categories: Legislation

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