ADAO Issues Strong Opposition to Advance of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing about the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2015
By Business Wire News
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), a leader in ending asbestos exposure through education, advocacy, and community; announces its strong opposition to the so-called FACT Act (S. 357), which puts undue pressure on victims of asbestos exposure, particularly people who are suffering from the signature asbestos cancer, mesothelioma.
The “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act” S. 357, authored by Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and backed by the asbestos industry and insurance companies, delays and denies compensation to those who are or will become sick from asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. In addition, the bill violates the privacy of asbestos victims, releasing sensitive information via a public website. S. 357 puts the burden of justice on victims, further releasing industry from their responsibilities for one of the largest manmade health crises in our nation.
“Tomorrow’s Judiciary hearing is a step back for public health and justice. Since 2004, ADAO has been an outspoken opponent of the so-called FAIR and FACT Acts,” stated ADAO President and Co-founder, Linda Reinstein. “As we know all too well, asbestos is still legal and lethal in the U.S., causing devastating illnesses and death for those exposed, particularly workers and their families, with disease sometimes delayed for decades after exposure. The dangers have been known since the early 1900’s and corporations that exposed workers to a known carcinogen should be held accountable. The FACT Act is a thinly veiled attempt to provide cover for asbestos defendants, insurers, and re-insurers. It does absolutely nothing to further the legislative mandate to protect public health by banning asbestos in all forms.
“Since 1998, beginning with Sen. Hatch, Orrin (R-UT), there have been introductions of 22 pro-asbestos industry bills favoring the interests of the powerful asbestos lobby and allowing asbestos corporations off the hook. During these past 17 years, an estimated 170,000 Americans have died from preventable, asbestos-caused deaths and Congress has allowed the importation of over 87,000 metric tons of asbestos to meet ‘manufacturing needs’ at the expense of Americans’ health.”
“FACT Act” Facts:
- 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”
Asbestos claims more than 15,000 American lives annually and accounts for the majority of global deaths related to occupational carcinogens (194,000) according to the recently released The Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factor Study of 2013 (GBD 2013) from the prestigious Lancet medical journal.
About the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) was founded by asbestos victims and their families in 2004. ADAO is the largest non-profit in the U.S. dedicated to providing asbestos victims and concerned citizens with a united voice through our education, advocacy, and community initiatives. ADAO seeks to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure, advocate for an asbestos ban, and protect asbestos victims’ civil rights. For more information, visit www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org. ADAO, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, does not make legal referrals.