Posted on May 21, 2014
S. 2319 Further Victimizes Asbestos Victims and Families: Invades Privacy – Denies Justice – Delays Compensation
ADAO needs your HELP today! Please call your two U.S. Senators today and urge them to oppose “The Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act – S. 2319.”
Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced S. 2319, the Senate companion piece to H.R. 982, the so-called, “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act.” As you may recall, this is the bill that passed in the House last November (largely along party lines) at the behest of the asbestos industry and purports to improve transparency in the asbestos trusts. The bill favors the asbestos industry, at the expense of asbestos victims, by imposing new and costly burdens on the trusts. The real intent of this bill is to delay recovery and deny compensation to victims who are dying from asbestos-related disease.
Why? Because the FACT Act is designed to make it even more difficult for asbestos victims to receive justice in court and hold asbestos corporations responsible for the harm their products have caused. Adding insult to injury, it would also violate asbestos victims’ privacy by releasing sensitive information on a public website.
Here are some of the consequences for asbestos victims and their families if the FACT Act is passed:
1. Lists the last four digits of asbestos victims’ Social Security numbers on a public website
2. Creates new barriers and delays for victims receiving compensation and justice
3. Threatens the security of asbestos victims by revealing financial information
4. Jeopardizes asbestos victims and families for possible blacklisting and discrimination
5. Publicly lists “the name and exposure history of, a claimant and the basis for any payment from the trust made to such claimant”
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) has been an outspoken opponent of the FACT Act since it was first introduced in 2012. As we know all too well, asbestos is still legal and lethal in the U.S. Asbestos disease claims more than 10,000 American lives each year and imports continue. That’s a fact. But that number does not include the families and children left behind with no means of financial support.
Take action by following these two steps today to ask your Senators to OPPOSE S. 2319!
- Click here to find your Senator’s office phone numbers. It’s easy – just type your home zip code into the box up on the right.
- Call your two Senators using the script below:
My name is XX and I live in your district.
I’m calling to ask that Senator XX to oppose S. 2319. This bill hurts asbestos victims by helping corporations that have profited from asbestos to delay and deny justice to the victims and their families. It also puts asbestos victims’ privacy at risk.
S. 2319 does not protect Americans hurt by asbestos. To this day, asbestos is still lethal and legal the United States and kills more than 10,000 Americans every year. Corporations knew asbestos was deadly by the 1930s, but the asbestos industry hid the facts, and continued to expose workers and their families to its dangers, putting millions at risk for serious and deadly diseases.
Congress should focus on keeping Americans safe from deadly products, not protecting corporations that deliberately put workers and consumers in danger.
Organizations that OPPOSE the FACT Act include:
Alliance for Justice
American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
Asbestos Cancer Victims’ Rights Campaign (ACVRC)
Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
Center for Justice and Democracy
Environmental Working Group
The Bankruptcy Trusts United States
U.S. Public Interest Research Group
Organizations that SUPPORT the FACT Act include:
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform
Remember: every voice counts, and every action makes a difference. If you tweet about the FACT Act, please include #NoFACTAct.