ADAO Issues Strong Opposition to House Passage of So-Called FACT Act (H.R. )
Bill will Delay Justice and Compensation, Violate Privacy for Asbestos Victims and Families
Washington DC – March 9, 2017 – Linda Reinstein, President and CEO of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), today released the following statement on the passage of the “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act” (H.R. 906) in the U.S. House of Representatives. ADAO serves as a global leader in ending asbestos exposure through education, advocacy, and community.
“ADAO is deeply troubled and saddened by today’s passage of the FACT Act, especially in the face of bipartisan opposition to the bill. Since ADAO was founded in 2004, nearly 200,000 Americans have been killed by asbestos diseases. There will be an untold number of lives lost to this killer as long as Congress continues to put corporate interests ahead of the health and safety of their constituents.
“Congress should be focusing on legislation to stop asbestos imports and ensure the EPA can expeditiously ban asbestos, not on providing handouts to the murderous asbestos industry. The dangers of asbestos have been known since the early 1900s, but asbestos is still legal and lethal in the U.S., causing devastating illnesses and death for those exposed.
“Corporations that have knowingly and recklessly exposed Americans to a known carcinogen should be held accountable. It is reprehensible that the House has passed legislation that will let asbestos corporations off the hook, create significant privacy risks for victims, and delay compensation and justice.
“ADAO thanks the Congressional representatives who stood up to protect asbestos victims’ civil rights by voting no on the FACT Act. Our eyes now turn to the Senate, where we urge our elected officials to protect the American people rather than corporate profits.”
Asbestos-caused diseases claim more than 15,000 American lives annually, and newly released data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that mesothelioma deaths are increasing, despite a drastic decrease in asbestos consumption since peak use in the 1970s. Congress has allowed the man-made asbestos disaster to continue for far too long; they have a duty to make things right for asbestos victims, but the FACT Act would only cause more harm.
Facts about the so-called FACT Act:
- Lists the last four digits of asbestos victims’ Social Security numbers on a public website
- Creates new barriers and delays for victims receiving compensation and justice
- Threatens the security of asbestos victims by revealing financial information
- Jeopardizes asbestos victims and families for possible blacklisting and discrimination
- Publicly lists “the name and exposure history of a claimant and the basis for any payment from the trust made to such claimant”